Blessing of the pets at St. Francis School By LARRY SAMSON | Staff writer - October 12, 2017 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter tweet Father Gerard Willger performed the annual Blessing of the Pets at the St. Francis School in Spooner on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Father Willger was filling in for Father Bala Showry who is out of the country visiting family. St. Francis of Assisi is a 12th Century friar who gave up his wealth to found several religious orders and to tend to the poor. He is considered the patron saint of animals and the environment.—Photos by Larry Samson Brody and Wyatt Garrett have their hands full with their four dogs. Shown (L to R): Daisy, corgi: Holmes, golden retriever: Rex, Border collie; and Colm, whippet, as they are getting blessed. One of the cool things for the children is showing off their best friend to their best friends at school. Elizabeth Haines is proud to show her dog, Hunter, to her friends.