Dogs, donkeys and more arrive to get blessed in Aquebogue

10/07/2012 1:00 PM |
Old Steeple Church, Blessing of the Animals, Aquebogue, St. Francis of Assisi

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Cliff Baldwin and his daughter Ella, both of Aquebogue, sing Elvis’ ‘Hound Dog’ with their Chesapeake Bay retriever Saturday.

Deacon Janet Wright opened “Blessing and Celebration of the Animals” services at Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue Saturday morning with a reminder to all.

She paraphrased from Genesis 1: “God didn’t get around to making humans until he made all the other creatures.”

Read more below.

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This is a time to reflect that God created the animals with the same love he has for us, and as with them they have a relationship with the creator, she told those in attendance.

“Bless our companion animals, bless and honor all creatures,” she went on to say.

“We learn from them patience, devotion, loyalty, joy, not to worry about tomorrow and to live one day at a time and enjoy.”

The Blessing of the Animals is a custom done in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures.

His feast day is celebrated Oct. 4.

Members of the Community Center for the Blind and Sighted, which meets in the church’s Fellowship Hall on Mondays, were in attendance, as were representatives of Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton, North Fork Animal Welfare League in Southold and North Shore Animal League in Port Washington.

The East End Ass Whisperers donkey rescue group also arrived with several donkeys. Cathy and Harry Springer of Aquebogue brought four horses to be blessed. A man driving a truck on the Main Road heading west in front of the church got distracted when he saw the animals on the lawn of the church and jumped the curb momentarily. He did not crash the truck.

This was the first of four Blessing of the Animals events planned for the North Fork over the weekend.

Blessings are also scheduled for noon today, Sunday, at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at 768 Main Street in Greenport, and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday on the lawn at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church on Main Road in Mattituck.

To register for the Mattituck event, call 298-8304 or email organizers at

St. Isidore School will also have a Blessing of the Animals Sunday at 3 p.m. on the school field on Marcy Ave in Riverhead.

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