Marilyn Douglas is a long-time LAWS member who has organized the Community Blessing of the Animals for many years.
1. Can you tell us about the local animal blessing that will be at Exchange National Bank, 7th and Delaware streets on Sunday at 2 p.m.? Who sponsors it, when did it begin in Leavenworth and where do the donations from the event go?
The annual Community Blessing of the Animals is sponsored by the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society (LAWS).
This event has been carried out for 18 years.
Any donations that are received go to help with our Spay and Neuter Program as well as providing help with medical expenses to animals in need.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church has always provided the clergy support for this event as well as administrative help. LAWS extends their sincere appreciation to St. Paul's.
2. What types of animals are welcome and are people of all faiths invited?
All types of animals and individuals of all faiths are welcome to participate in this annual event. Animals such as dogs, cats, goats, ducks, birds, etc. have all been brought to the event.
3. All animals who attend the blessing will receive a St. Francis of Assisi medal. The date of the blessing is very close to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Why is this monk who lived from 1182 to 1226 so important to animal welfare advocates?
The date for the community blessing is usually held on the Sunday closest to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, which is on Oct. 4. St. Francis is extensively identified with the love and care of animals, birds and the environment.
4. What would you say to people who don't believe that animals have souls and therefore will not benefit from the blessing?
According to scriptural record of Jewish and Christian belief, as well as tradition of many of the world's religions, the same spirit of God inhabits humans and animals.
5. For animal lovers the blessing is a popular event each year. Do you think the event also brings awareness of the importance of animal welfare and respect for some who might not think of animals as being very important?
We would certainly like to think this event enhances the community's awareness and concern for the welfare of animals, birds and the environment.
Donations received from this event are used to promote this awareness through our Spay and Neuter Program and helps with needed medical assistance for animals in need.
— Rimsie McConiga