October 4th is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of animals.
Most Catholic Churches hold a "pet blessing" ceremony on or around the feast day in honor of St. Francis. The priest does a short reading, blesses all the pets with Holy Water, and we all say a prayer.
My roommate and I brought Dirk (and Avery Jenkins the cat, but she never got to get out of her carrier) to get blessed.
There were lots of dogs and cats, and even a bird, a hamster, and a TURTLE. Lol. (In the pic of Dirk checking out the shoebox - Peg the Turtle was in the box)
I guess it seems kind of silly to a lot of people but as the priest said, when animals work for us and we treat them like family, it makes sense to take them to Church like the rest of the family!