Olivia Turner ’23 returned to campus on Oct. 4 to have the newest furry members of her family blessed.

Turner recently adopted two dogs, Rosa and Striper, from the Spartanburg Humane Society. They received pets and cuddles during the celebration.

The Rev. Dr. Ron Robinson ’78, Wofford’s Perkins-Prothro Chaplain and Professor of Religion, blessed a total of 250 animals during the event. A handful of them, like Rosa and Striper, showed up with their owners. Most, however, were represented by photographs displayed in the lobby of Burwell Building.

“I worked for Ron Robinson as a student, so I’m happy to be able to come back and bring my pets for the blessing,” Turner says.

The annual event began over a decade ago and is celebrated on Oct. 4 each year. The blessing coincides with the feast day of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals.

Robinson read each pet’s name during the event, inviting the audience to pray alongside him at the end. The celebration also featured treats for both two- and four-legged attendees to enjoy.

Most pets featured in the service and on the wall of photographs were cats and dogs. There were a couple of horses, a cow, a mouse and a pig named Homeless Ted sprinkled in. The photographs will remain up through October.

Becky Smith brought Latte, a goat, at the urging of Elizabeth Fields, director of the Halligan Campus Ministry Center. Latte received lots of attention from adoring attendees as he munched on the grass outside of Burwell.

“Many students miss their pets, so this gives them an opportunity to reconnect with and celebrate them,” Robinson says. “It’s also a fun thing to do, and it lets us give thanks for the role of animals in our lives.”