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Get your pets blessed in Abbeyleix this weekend

This week is the celebration of St Francis of Assissi who is the patron saint of animals and they’ve come up with a novel idea to mark that in Abbeyleix this Sunday.

At 2pm on the grounds of the Abbeyleix parish church, there will be a blessing of all pets.

“We will be blessing everything from tarantulas to hamsters, cats and dogs,” says Fr Paddy Byrne, who took over as parish priest in Abbeyleix and the surrounding communities of Raheen, Ballyroan, Shanahoe and Ballinakill in recent months.

“This is ackonowledge the blessing that pets give to us,” added Fr Paddy.

“Everyone is welcome to attend.”

The blessing of the pets is the first of two big parish events on successive Sundays as on Sunday, October 13, there will be a special event to welcome the residents of the town’s Direct Provision centre.

This will take place in the parish centre from 2pm.

The event will see Abbeyleix’s newest residents meet members of the community to meet.

Fr Paddy Byrne will officiate over a symbolic candle ceremony.

Speakers on the day will include former residents of Direct Provision who now live fully integrated lives within the community.

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.