New best friends for the man upstairs: Priest blesses Slope pets at annual ritual

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Faithful furball: Cooper also received a blessing at St. Saviour Church in Park Slope on Sunday.
Seeking prayers: Brenda Parnes brought her pooch, Honey, to the Blessing of Animals, which is held each year around the Oct. 4 feast of St. Francis of Assisi, whom the Catholic Church recognizes as the patron saint of critters.
Most precious cargo: Catherine Magyera came to the blessing at St. Saviour Church with her sheltie, Catch.

Bark the herald angels sing!

Priests at a Park Slope Catholic church welcomed a furrier flock than usual on Sunday, when a group of dogs and cats joined faithful animal-lovers for the parish’s pet blessing. And the annual ritual, which clergy held in name of the critters’ patron saint and drew participants of all creeds, was touching, according to attendees.

“I thought it was a beautiful idea to bless the animals,” said Brenda Parnes, a Jewish neighborhood resident who went with her 7-year-old terrier, Honey, at the suggestion of friends. “It was adorable.”

About a dozen doe-eyed furballs and their owners gathered outside Eighth Avenue’s Church of St. Savior for the Blessing of the Animals, which was held days before the Oct. 4 feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, who was canonized in part for his devotion to all creatures great and small.

Father Frank Spacek intoned the blessing before the menagerie of man and beast, praying not only for the animals, but also for the wisdom of their masters, according to one parishioner.

“It’s a very nice blessing,” said Park Slope resident Catherine Magyera, who brought her Shetland sheepdog, Catch. “Not only does the animal get a blessing, but the prayer that goes along with it is very nice. It encourages people to be kind to the earth and nature, and encourages them to do good with their animals.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:54 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

stan chaz from Greenpoint says:
"For the MAN Upstairs"?

Please stop with the male chauvinism already...

If we create our gods in our own image, then you need to own up to the fact that 50 percent of us are women.

And you definitely don't want to get any vengeful goddesses angry at you!
Oct. 4, 2017, 12:54 pm

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