Animals Blessed In Henderson - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/1/06-Henderson

Animals Blessed In Henderson

      For East Texas Pets, this weekend is a big one, as animals rather than people had blessings bestowed on them by clergy.   All sizes, all breeds, cats, dogs even horses, were lining up for blessings Sunday at Saint Matthews Episcopal Church in Henderson. The blessing of the animals is in accordance with St. Francis of Assisi, The patron saint of animals.

      "I think because having animals is something people enjoy so much they find their own place in gods own creation" said Father William Russell of St. Matthews.

    Rusk County Animal Outreach also participated with pets for adoption. A law enforcement drug dog, "Sam", was even blessed, to the delight of it's trainer.

    "Well for me personally this is my livelihood so I'm ecstatic that father could bless him and maybe give him good future this year" said drug dog trainer Nancy Bidwell.

     Over the years Father Russell has blessed thousands of animals, but there's one he'll never forget!

  "A little boy in the church I served in North Carolina brought a king snake, and I think it was a test to see if I would bless his snake" says Russell.

    2 horses of the Rusk county sheriff's department "mounted patrol", received blessing , sheriffs believing "it couldn't hurt".   More than 60 animals were blessed at the event Sunday at Saint Matthews.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

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