Chaplain leads first-ever animal blessing on Fort Bragg
October 8, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - On the morning of Oct. 2, pet owners and their beloved animals gathered in front of the Main Post Chapel for the first Blessing of the Pets in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Led by Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James Brisson, Command Chaplain for the U.S. Army Special Forces Command, the service included Bible readings, prayers and blessings of each animal present. Pet owners were given a special medallion to be worn by each animal.
According to the Catholic religion, the blessing of animals tradition began with St. Francis' love for animals and the environment making him a friend and protector to them. Even though world wide this widely-practiced ceremony continues to grow with owners bringing cows, horses, and various other pets, to blessings, Fort Bragg honored dogs and birds with it's first-ever intimate ceremony.
"Our pets bring a great blessing to our lives," said Brisson. "For a lot of people, their pet is all they have; it's a great honor to them."
Jerry Sherbourne, who is also a chaplain with the 528 Combat Stress Control Unit, said he thought the ceremony was a great idea. Sherbourne brought his Family's dog and three birds to the ceremony to receive the blessings. His African grey parrot, Kepler, who has been plucking his feathers non-stop, received an extra blessing from Sherbourne after the ceremony.
"African greys are known for their gorgeous grey tails," Sherbourne said. "Hopefully with God's blessing, (Kepler) will stop his uncontrollable plucking."