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October 3rd, 2012

Furry friends are blessed at Mount Saint Mary College

A variety of animals were blessed by Fr. Kevin E. Mackin on September 30, 2012 outside Founders Chapel at Mount Saint Mary College.
NEWBURGH – In honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, Mount Saint Mary College president Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, a Franciscan friar, blessed creatures great and small after mass on September 30, 2012.

Alumni, faculty, staff and area neighbors accompanied their furry companions for the blessing, which took place on the patio outside Founders Chapel. The blessing celebrated Saint Francis’ praise to God for all creation.

Pino DiBella, a facilities worker at the Mount, brought Martha, his toy fox terrier.

“She’s a good dog and I wanted to get her blessed,” said DiBella, who purchased Martha from a breeder in Ohio and had the tiny terrier flown in to New York.
Newburgh resident Elisabeth O’Shea took her nine-year-old dog Lola to the blessing. Additionally, Linda Melchionne, a member of the class of 1986, and her daughter, Mary Bonnell, from Cooperstown, NY, brought their black and white terrier – who is also named Lola.

Blessing wasn’t just for the dogs; Sherry Clark and Jennifer Smalley, a 1987 Mount Saint Mary grad who teaches education courses at the college, had Fr. Mackin bless their cat, Grey.

According to Fr. Mackin, “The bond between person and pet is like no other relationship, because the communication between fellow creatures is at its most basic.”

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