For Immediate Release

Contact:Deborah Gilleran

Georgian Court to Hold “Blessing of the Animals”

Lakewood, N.J., Oct. 2, 2007—The Georgian Court University Campus Ministry will hold a “Blessing of the Animals” on Thursday, October 4, at 2:00 p.m. in the Arts and Science Arcade on the Lakewood campus. The blessing will be conducted by the new campus chaplain, Reverend Anthony DePalma.

“Because of his great love for everything in life, as part of the commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi we have a blessing of the animals, showing respect for all life, all reality created by God,” Father DePlama says.

“I am looking forward to blessing the animals… outside the church, not inside,” he adds, “… for obvious reasons.”

A member of Voluntas Dei, a Secular Institute of the Church, Father DePalma has been the Chaplain at Georgian Court for only two weeks. He is also an assistant at St. Joseph’s Church in Toms River.

The Blessing of the Animals is held on October 4 to coincide with the Feast of St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan Order who died on October 3, 1226. St. Francis was known to love all animals, great and small, and most paintings and statues show him surrounded by animals.

For the past 10 years, GCU has conducted the annual event and encouraged campus members to bring their furry or feathered friends to be blessed. In past years, the event has welcomed a variety of pets from dogs and cats to birds, horses, and ferrets.

For more information, contact Kathy Brum of the Georgian Court University Campus Ministry at 732.987.2691. This event is not open to the public.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge and at Coastal Communiversity in Wall and Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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