Franciscan Father Joseph Juracek embraces a dog named Harley after the blessing of the animals Oct. 6, 2018, at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Butler N.J. The feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals, is celebrated Oct. 4 each year. (CNS photo/Octavio Duran)

Oct. 4 is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. Many parishes welcome caged/leashed/tanked pets on that day or another suitable time near it in order to receive a blessing.

One of our faithful readers compiled a list of blessings throughout the Valley and a little beyond (including Flagstaff and Chino Valley). It’s alphabetized chronologically and then alphabetically by parish name. Chances are, you know if your own parish is having a blessing, so check the list document if you think a neighboring parish might better serve your needs.

Here is a glimpse of who is offering a blessing and when:

  • Oct. 3 at St. Elizabeth Seton in Sun City. It’s at 9 a.m. (or following 8 a.m. Mass)
  • Oct. 4 at Our Lady of Lourdes in Sun City West. It’s at 10 a.m.
    It’s possible school parents across the diocese will also be allowed to briefly bring their pet at some point that day for a blessing.
  • Oct. 5 at 20 parishes whose bulletins advertised them far enough in advance to make the list. They begin anywhere from 9 a.m. until noon in Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, Flagstaff and Chino Valley.
  • Oct. 6 at four different parishes (three in Phoenix and one at St. Rose in Anthem)
  • Oct. 12 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale

Don’t have a pet? It appears the Arizona Humane Society can help with that. We’re not yet seeing official information on the society’s website, but this post from ABC15 Arizona says dogs are free to a good home throughout October if they have been at the shelter for more than 30 days.

For your random knowledge file…

This was the most used graphic in the list. Three parishes — St. Francis Xavier in Phoenix, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glendale and Holy Cross in Mesa — used this image to promote their Oct. 5 blessing. All begin at different times, however, 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively.
Our Lady of Lourdes in Sun City West and St. Joseph Parish in Phoenix both used this image. Their blessings fall on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5, respectively.
This was the most unique “pet” featured in the list. It’s from Blessed Sacrament in Scottsdale.