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Wilson College Hosts Annual "Blessing of the Animals"

It's a time when dogs, rats and even African dwarf frogs come together.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.It's a time when dogs, rats and even African dwarf frogs come together. Wilson College hosted its annual “blessing of the animals” service Wednesday.

For years, the Wilson College chaplain has been blessing pets big and small as part of a long-standing tradition.

"I’ve actually seen some of the animals grow over the years,” said Wilson College Chaplain Rosie Magee. “In my first year here, Katie’s snake was maybe this long, and now it has grown so much."

But what exactly does it mean to bless an animal?

"I thank them for the companionship that they bring and the joy that they are to their owners… [I] ask them that god bless them with good health and a long life in the days ahead,” said Magee.

Many that come to the service say it is the least they can do for the creatures that have brought them so much joy.

"I’m here because these are very special pets to us and they bless us every day, so we want to make sure we bless them,” said Elaine Fry, who brought her two greyhounds to get blessed.

"They are a part of the family,” said Wilson College student Stephanie Marshall about her rats. “It's nice to come out and just honor the animals and remember that they need to cared for and it's our responsibility to do that."

At Wilson College, the blessing is something that is just part of a larger love for animals.

"We have a strong VMT program and equine related courses, so animals are an everyday part of our lives,” said Magee.

"We have a really strong community here of students who really love their animals, love nature, so it's very nice to have them come out and gather together,” said Marshall.

The blessing is not a baptizing; the chaplain says it is simply a ceremony to ask for god's blessing for each of the animals present.

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