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Holy cow! Priests bless animals across borough

Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

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Sacred day: Rev. Kevin P. Cavalluzzi reads off the pet blessing from St. Francis of Assisi at the Slope church on Sunday.
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Puppy love: Sherry Dretchman’s furry friend Celia loved the blessing in Bay Ridge because she got to see her doggie crush — and get a treat.
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Blessed: The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd’s Rev. Carla J. Meier lays her blessing upon Celia.
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Fashionista: Tina sported her best head piece for the blessing with her human Dorothy Fyfe.
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Sunday best: Rev. Thomas V. Doyle from Marine Park’s Good Shepherd Church puts his holy hands on Peppion.
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Divine intervention: John Michelin and his pooch Sandy get in on the holiness.
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Dog’s day out: Eva and Elizabeth Giambol took their pooch Cody to get blessed for the first time at St. Saviour Church in Park Slope.

Oh my dog!

Brooklyn’s pets pawed to churches across the borough for the annual blessing of the animals on Sunday, but one Bay Ridge furball didn’t let her newfound holiness get in the way of enjoying a little gluttony and lust, according to her human.

“She actually very much likes going to the church because she tends to get treats,” said Sherry Dretchman of her 8-year-old mixed breed pooch Celia, who she took to the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd on Fourth Avenue. “She also happened to unexpectedly meet up with her doggie crush Dante, and she loves him when she sees him on the sidewalk so she was excited to see him in church.”

Priests perform the ceremony in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, ahead of his feast day on Oct. 4, and Dretchman says her intentions for participating are pure — even if Celia’s aren’t.

“I take her because I feel like she is a blessing to me and I want her to be blessed by god,” she said.

For many locals, it is also a beloved family tradition.

“We’re Catholic and we always believe in the blessing of the animals,” said Windsor Terrace resident Eva Giambol, who came to the St. Saviour Church in Park Slope with 1-year-old pup Cody and daughter Eva. “Growing up, I always had my pets blessed.”

Cody probably didn’t particularly appreciate the full significance of the occassion, but he still felt blessed to be getting so much attention, Giambol said.

“Cody is a friendly dog,” she said. “I think if anybody gives him attention he’s going to be happy.”

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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