SPARTA - The Reverend Orion Davis of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church conducted a Blessing of the Animals service Oct. 2 in recognition of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. Attending the service were 14 boisterous dogs and one quiet cat. The service offered singing, prayerful remembrance of pets past, a blessing of those present and a homily by Father Davis. St. Francis loved the larks flying about his hilltop town and, on at least one occasion, allowed himself to be displaced from his small hovel to make room for a donkey. He wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things. Sunday Holy Eucharist services at St. Mary’s are celebrated each week at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. During the week, a Holy Eucharist Service is celebrated at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Church is located at 85 Conestoga Trail off Route 181/Woodport Road, Sparta. For information, call 973-729-3136 or go online to stmarys-sparta.dioceseofnewark.org.