Guest blogger Caitlin O’Rourke is a member of St Bridget’s, Church, High Dudgeon, New Jersey. Caitlin is eight years old.

See what happened was that Sister Mary Albert said Father Florsheim could have a St Francis pet blessing if he wanted to but we weren’t allowed to bring in any of our pets because it was a school day and where would we put all the animals when we had to be in class so Father Florsheim said we could anyway and we would have Mass at the end of of the day instead of just before lunch and the parents could bring our pets in and if we couldn’t have some fun in church from time to time what was the point and besides he told us at Mass last week that he was thinking of coming on horseback and we should all be there because he had a nice surprise for us and so Sister had to do what he says because he’s a priest even though he is much younger than Sister and we could tell Sister was mad even though she smiled and said yes Father and Flora whispered to me that she looked like she had just drunk some vinegar by mistake so we did get to bring our pets in except our Moms had to bring them and then take them home with us after school and Bridget was very good and didn’t bite any of the other dogs but she did drop a whoopsie on the church lawn which Mom picked up with a rubber glove and put it in a little bag what was really bad though was that Jimmy Pochowski’s boxer dog named Bruno started to jump on the back of another dog and they were just playing a game but Sister tried to stop them from doing that and both dogs turned around and bit her and she screamed and I had never heard a nun scream before and I had to pinch Flora to get her to stop laughing then we were all waiting and I think there was a snake there too which Jimmy Pochowski said was a rattlesnake and that it had escaped but I never believed him anyway because he is such a liar and then we couldn’t believe it because suddenly we heard lots of trumpets and drums and around the corner came a marching band with men wearing red jackets and hats with feathers on the top and we couldn’t believe it but it was really true that Fr Florsheim came around the corner riding on top of an elephant because I forgot but the circus is in town and he told the circus people we were having a St Francis animal blessing and they all came and there was a white horse with a pretty lady wearing sparkly clothes and a camel behind the white horse and you wouldn’t believe it a jeep was behind the camel and behind that was a tiger in a cage he was sleeping but then Jimmy’s dog Bruno started barking and running around in circles and the other dogs started barking too so the tiger woke up and roared and Sister was amazed and her mouth was open so wide that Flora said she might catch some flies in it and Father could bless them too and finally Father got down from the elephant he stepped right down on the elephant’s knee like they always do to get down and he was wearing his cassock and robes and biretta and everything and Dominic my cousin was altar server and carried the water bucket and Father Florsheim went around and blessed all the animals one by one and gave every person a St Francis prayer card and said that God loved all the animals even the mosquitos and leeches because he made them all and said they were good and he loves us even more and he can’t help loving everything because he is love and that’s the way he’s made and he couldn’t not love everything even if he wanted to so there are some things God can’t do he can’t hate everything and so we were supposed to love everything too if we could even Jimmy Pochowski and the circus people and everyone else looked very happy and it was the best day I have ever had in school ever and I think Father Florsheim is really the best priest I have ever known and I think all the boys want to be priests now and he should be pope he really should and Flora thinks so too and when it was all over even Sister Mary Albert seemed happy because she was smiling and talking to everyone even Jimmy and his dog Bruno who bit her.