Taking paws to bless all God’s piggies and puppies


A small but devoted group of pet owners gathered Sunday afternoon for the Fourth Annual Blessing of the Animals at Middle Collegiate Church on Second Ave. near Sixth St. The ceremony was presided over by Senior Minister Jacqueline Lewis and assisted by Executive Minister Brad Motta and Associate Minister Adriene Thorne. More than 15 pet owners gathered in a semicircle at the front of the church on a blue plastic tarp put on the floor especially for the service. One by one, sometimes two by two, the pets were called up for their blessings. Above left, Karen Brightly held her guinea pigs, Julie and Lola, as they were blessed by Minister Lewis, left, and Thorne. Above right, dachshund Frankie was anointed with holy water by Thorne, with an assist from Motta. Below, new friends, from left, Coco, Lu and Mac got acquainted. With Lu having lived 15 of his 17 years in the East Village, owner Kate Conroy, center, said, “We felt it was important to get him blessed while we have the chance.”