Animal blessing is ‘brrrilliant’ at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rosemount

Cold temperatures can’t hold back church’s event

Vollie Heitkamp, of Hope Rides, and Father Paul Jarvis were all smiles during the Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, Oct. 6, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rosemount. All kinds of animals were brought to the blessing. People also were able to participate in a “marathon” around the church and school property. Photos by Joe Duffy and Amy Holmes

The near freezing temperature couldn’t hinder the spirits of people attending the St. Joseph Catholic Church Blessing of the Animals and Marathon on Saturday, Oct. 6, in Rosemount.

Five deacons from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis helped bless scores of animals that included dogs, cats, rabbits, horses and a skunk.

A contest awarded a $50 prize to the best dressed pet in baby attire. There was a $100 award for the most creative animal attire sported at the marathon.

This was the first “marathon” event open to the school’s students, faith formation students and adults of the parish. It wasn’t actually a 26.2-mile road race, but rather a trip around the church and school building.

Hope Rides ministry provided horse rides to young attendees. The Dakota County Sheriff’s mounted patrol also brought its horses. A petting zoo with exotic animals that could stand the cold, included a llama that didn’t seem to mind the cold.

“It actually really was a really fun time,” said Father Paul Jarvis in an email. “I will forever have the mass ‘Chicken Dance’ etched in my memory.”

People can see it at

Jarvis thanked organizers of the event Laurie Dahlbeck, Bridget Samson and Jan Holmes.

More photos are at

More information about the church is at