Typically, on this day of the Pet Blessing Chapel, the sounds of excited animals, eager students, and patient parents would be heard inside and outside of The Cathedral; the energy would be high as the family pets wait to receive their annual blessing. This year, school chaplain, The Rev. Heather Patton-Graham, conducted the chapel service via Zoom, broadcasting from the Cathedral with special guests in attendance to represent the St. Andrew’s community: Mr. Herzer and his comfort dog, Hōkū, as well as Officer Jones, Officer Espiritu, and Officer Torres from the Honolulu Police Department with their police canines, Hunter, Hawk, and Zero.
“Today is our observed feast of Saint Francis of Assisi,” said Chaplain Heather as she spoke about his life and transformation, “and the blessing of the animals is our way of honoring his life and goodness, to God and creation. To celebrate this day, we have a few different offerings to share, and certainly different than perhaps you guys are used to on this day.”
Chaplain Heather played a video of her visit to see the campus chickens and The Priory 2nd grade class, which takes care of them. “Our chickens are named Crystal and Galaxy. Galaxy is black and Crystal is brown,” explained one student. The students joined Chaplain Heather in prayer as she blessed the chickens.
Prayers of thanks were offered for working animals, stuffed toy animals, and all pets, including those who have died. As a way to honor all students’ pets, a slideshow was played featuring an array of our community’s animals from cats and dogs to bunnies and guinea pigs to plush toy animals!