Rev. Martha Clark blessed a large black dog, one of many neighborhood dogs who attended the Blessing of the Animals last year. (Photo: Elaine F. Graves)

A Blessing of the Animals will be held in honor of St. Francis of Assisi on Saturday, Oct. 6, at 4 p.m. at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church.

In honor of St. Francis, the saint who loved all the birds and animals, the Rev. Martha Clark, priest-in-charge of St. Augustine’s, invites all Southwest neighbors to bring their pets to receive blessings on the corner lawn of the church at Sixth and M streets SW, across from Arena Stage.

“Even if you don’t have a pet, bring your favorite stuffed animal. This will be a fun and festive occasion and there will be treats for all pets and their human caretakers and friends,” Clark said. “It is said that St. Francis loved to preach to the birds. There won’t be any preaching – just a chance to celebrate and bless your pets and get to know other Southwest pet owners.”

In case of rain, the event will be held inside the church. All creatures great and small, leashed or crated, are welcome.

For information, contact St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 600 M St. SW, at 202-554-3222 or

By Elaine F. Graves, a Southwest resident since 1984 and an active parishioner in St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. She is a retired publicity and events expert.

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