Blessing of the Animals at St. James’ Cathedral


Right Reverend Linda Nicholls, Bishop of Trent-Durham



Blessing of a Golden Retriever holding a program


Sign of the Cross over a Schnauzer


If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.

—Francis of Assisi 1181 – 1226

All photography courtesy of Lene Andersen


Paulette Huebert Touby —

The Cathedral Church of St. James celebrated the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi which is officially October 4 on a fittingly bucolic morning fresh from rain on

Saturday, October 5 on its west lawn on the corner of Church and King streets. Officiated by The Right Reverend Linda Nicholls, Bishop of Trent-Durham, the service began with Cecil Frances Alexander’s ode to creation All Things


Laying on of hands

Bright and Beautiful sung by St. James’ choir clad in choirs’ habits of red and white.
Chairs were set out for the public and special guests were Michael O’Sullivan, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Canada and members of The Toronto Police Service Mounted Unit.
After a welcome and prayers there was a reading from the Book of Genesis: “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind”, and from the Gospel of Matthew advocating care for others, approximately 200 people were invited to bring their pets (mostly dogs) to the front to be blessed. All were on their best behaviour.



Laying on of hands




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