SHELBYVILLE, IL –St. Francis of Assisi had a great love for animals and wrote a Canticle for the Creatures, is an ode to God’s living things, “All praise to you, oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.”

In honor of the hospital’s patron saint, St. Francis whose feast day is Oct. 4, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital will hold their first pet blessing. The ceremony will take place Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 5:30 p.m. in the peace garden located on the east lawn of the hospital. Father Marianna will lead the blessing.

The blessing of the pets has been a long-standing, special tradition in the Franciscan tradition. The love we have for pets is representative of God’s unconditional love. The hospital invites the public to bring their animals for a blessing. Everyone is welcome. For the animals’ safety, all dogs should be on a leash. All cats, hamsters, birds and other small pets should be in a carrier. Children are welcome but we request that they be accompanied by an adult.

“Because they are family to us, we want to share a blessing with those furry or feathered friends who better our lives,” Co-Mission Leader Tonya Bowrey said. “We hope you will join us on Tuesday evening with your pet.”
About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in healthcare for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the healthcare services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s healthcare needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit   

About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay).  HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis,

Media Contact

Andrew Dilbeck

HSHS Illinois
Office: 217-464-5610

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