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Blessing of the animals

Posted: September 22, 2011 2:23 p.m.
Updated: September 23, 2011 5:00 a.m.

On Oct. 1 at 11 a.m., a special lakeside service will be held for the animals in the Kershaw County community. Dr. Gene Rollins (above), minister at Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church (LHPC), will conduct the sixth annual Blessing of the Animals on Lake Wateree to commemorate St. Francis of Assisi’s October 1182 birthday. St. Francis is known for his love of animals and the environment. Rollins will speak on the significance of the day and will then bless each animal individually. The custom, observed all over the world at this time of year, is meant to remind the community of the sacredness of life and provides an opportunity to honor special pets.

The interfaith service will be held at LHPC’s Lakeside Pavilion, located at Windward Pointe on Sailing Club Road, which is off of S.C. 97 between Camden and Liberty Hill. People of all faiths are welcomed, with or without a pet. You may also bring a picture of a living or deceased pet and receive a blessing as well. Those who bring their pets are asked to make sure that they are under control.

Born into a wealthy family in Umbria, Francis abandoned all rights and possessions when God called him into service through a dream. A humble man, he worked to care for the poor and indigent, and he loved all God’s creatures. St. Francis believed that each and everyone reveals something about the nature of God’s love. He treated birds, animals, and all beings as brothers and sisters and saw all living creatures as being in harmony with each other. He collected many followers during his lifetime and spread his gospel of kindness and love throughout Europe earning him the name St. Francis.

For more information about the event, contact Margaret Valentine at 475-5102 or the church office at 273-9191.

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