PORTLAND — In celebration of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, known for his love of all of God’s creatures, over 20 churches around Maine will hold Blessing of the Animals prayer services. Animal lovers are invited to bring their pets to have them blessed and gently sprinkled with holy water. The services are a way of thanking God for the pets that bring joy to so many. People of all faiths are welcome! Here are the Blessing of the Animals ceremonies listed by date and location:

Saturday, Oct. 1

Bath

St. Mary Church (parking lot)

144 Lincoln Street

10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Bridgton

St. Joseph Church

225 South High Street

10 a.m.

East Millinocket

St. Peter Church

58 Cedar Street

10 a.m.

Gray

St. Gregory the Great Church

24 North Raymond Road

9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Houlton

St. Mary of the Visitation Church (parking lot)

110 Military Street

1 p.m.

Newcastle

St. Patrick Church

380 Academy Hill Road

2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Norway

St. Catherine of Sienna Church

32 Paris Street

10 a.m.

Portland

St. Louis Church

279 Danforth Street

10 a.m.

Portland

St. Joseph Church (lawn)

673 Stevens Avenue

1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Yarmouth

Sacred Heart Church

326 Main Street

2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 2

Augusta

St. Michael School (parking lot)

56 Sewall Street

1 p.m.

Boothbay Harbor

Our Lady Queen of Peace Church

82 Atlantic Avenue

8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Brunswick

St. Charles Borromeo Church (parking lot)

132 McKeen Street

2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Calais

Immaculate Conception Church (parking lot)

31 Calais Avenue

1 p.m.

Dover-Foxcroft

St. Thomas Aquinas Church (outside the church)

45 High Street

12:30 p.m.

Fort Kent

St. Louis Church (outside rectory garage)

26 East Main Street

2 p.m.

***There will also be a memory table for those who wish to bring a photo or memento of a beloved, deceased pet, and a photo area where people can have pictures taken with their pets. Participants are also asked to consider bringing donations of cat or dog food, which will be given to a local shelter or food pantry. 

Gardiner

St. Joseph Church (parking lot)

110 School Street

1 p.m.

Peaks Island

St. Christopher Church

15 Central Avenue

Following the 8:30 a.m. Mass (approx. 9:30 a.m.)

South Portland

Holy Cross Church

124 Cottage Road

Noon

Winslow

St. John Grotto

26 Monument Street

1 p.m.

Winthrop

St. Francis Xavier Church (parking lot)

130 Route 133

1 p.m.

Sunday, Oct/ 9

Bangor

St. Mary Church (parking lot)

768 Ohio Street

2 p.m.

In addition, Fr. Lou Phillips, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Windham, Westbrook, and Gorham, will bless the animals at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland’s Arthur P. Girard Adoption Center (217 Landing Road in Westbrook) on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 10:30 a.m. Blessing of the Animals services invoke God’s blessing on the animals and thank God for letting us share the earth. The blessing also recognizes the important place that pets hold in people’s hearts. If events are added, they will be listed along with the other services at www.portlanddiocese.org/blessing-animals-2022.