Blessing of the animals, pet food drive to be held at Paradise Valley church

A view from the 2014 Blessing of the Animals. (submitted photo)

A view from the 2014 Blessing of the Animals. (submitted photo)

Ascension Lutheran Church will be hosting its annual ceremony, Blessing of the Animals, to kick off its month-long pet food drive at Luminaria.

The event will take place during the 10 a.m. worship in the sanctuary of the church, 7100 N. Mockingbird Lane in Paradise Valley, on Sunday, Oct. 2.

This celebration kicks off a month-long drive for pet food to give clients of Luminaria the opportunity to keep their beloved pets.

Luminaria Home Care provides assistance for seniors and persons with disabilities to promote dignity, quality of life and independence. Any kind of cat and dog food will be welcome, according to a press release.

The custom of blessing animals is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures.

St. Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things: “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.”

The proud owners of household pets and even stuffed animals will bring each of them forward to be blessed by name.

Rev. Ryan Hersch, pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church, presides at the ceremony and interacts with each of the pets.

All God’s creatures from the community are invited to bring their special humans to this special service in the sanctuary of the church. Join the event in your favorite cage or wearing your finest leash!

For more information call 480-948-6050 or visit

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