'Lovely custom:' Animals of all shapes, sizes received special blessing at St. Ann Center

MILWAUKEE -- Animals of all types, shapes and sizes were invited to receive a special blessing on Friday, Oct. 4, at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care.

Fr. Byron Haaland, SCJ, of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, presided at this celebration of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals, in the atrium at St. Ann Center’s Stein Campus.

Blessing of the Pets

“This lovely custom is observed in remembrance of St. Francis’ love for all creatures,” said Sr. Edna Lonergan, president of St. Ann Center.

According to a press release, St. Ann Center provides health and educational day services to frail elders, adults with special needs and children, all under one roof. The center champions a home-based, intergenerational approach that emphasizes the dignity of each client and child. A corporate ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, its mission is based on the Franciscan values: reverencing all creation, making peace, showing compassion and creating a caring community.