Pet ministry: caring for God’s creatures

Anne Marie Amacher
Carol Jackson pets therapy dog Frankie while Jean Campise, back, left, and Kim McCool talk at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf June 16. St. Francis of Assisi Pet Ministry collected items for the Humane Society of Scott County to celebrate the birthdays of Lola and Bella, pet dogs of the pastor, Father Jason Crossen.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

BETTENDORF — To celebrate the birthdays of pet dogs Lola and Bella, members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish collected pet food and supplies before and after Masses June 15-16. Lola and Bella belong to the pastor, Father Jason Crossen.

Kim McCool, founder of the St. Francis of Assisi Pet Ministry of St. John Vianney Parish, a ministry open to all parishes, visited Lourdes with her therapy dog Frankie for that parish’s weekend Masses. A display table in the gathering space offered information about the pet ministry. Parishioners had the opportunity to drop off canned and bagged pet food and other items or to make a financial donation toward food and other supplies for the Humane Society of Scott County. They also helped themselves to cookies made by parishioners from both parishes.

McCool hoped for a donation of 120 cookies but the number exceeded 500, to her amazement. A donor provided individual plastic bags for the cookies and made stickers with the pet ministry’s logo to seal the goods. This past April, St. John Vianney parishioners collected items for the Humane Society in honor of Joey, the pet dog of their pastor, Father Rich Adam.


St. Francis of Assisi Pet Ministry’s mission is to promote compassion for all of God’s creatures and to encourage pet owners and caretakers to support all who care about animals with prayer and action.

The pet ministry provides activities and service using the acronym “CARE”:

  • Compassion and caring. Some activities include pet loss support group, feast of St. Francis animal blessing, and an enchilada sale.
  • Actively partner with organizations sharing the group’s vision of how pets enrich lives. This includes religious education visits with therapy dog organizations, religious education tie blanket project and a pet ministry camp.
  • Reach out to agencies and organizations through donations of blankets to the Humane Society of Scott County, monetary and pet supply donations, and handmade cat and dog toys for local shelters.
  • Education. This happens through pet ministry camp, monthly meetings with guest speakers on topics such as pet palliative care, dog behavior, rabbit care, Iowa puppy mills and the transition of the Humane Society of Scott County to a no-kill shelter.

To learn more about St. Francis of Assisi Pet Ministry, attend meetings the third Thursday of the month (except June and July) at 6:30 p.m. in the St. John Vianney activity center or contact McCool at 563-340-0071 or

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