TOMORROW: Wildlife, Religious Leaders Coming to Capitol Hill for Multi-Faith Blessing of the Animals Ceremony

Washington D.C. – Tomorrow, Oct. 17, the House Natural Resources Committee will host a “Blessing of the Animals” ceremony on Capitol Hill in partnership with the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. Religious leaders from multiple faiths will provide a blessing for all creatures and reflect on the importance of saving endangered species and the role of the Endangered Species Act. 

 The Blessing of the Animals is a religious event customarily held on the Feast of St. Francis and is performed by faith communities across the country every year. Religious leaders will be joined by congressional lawmakers and animals participating in the blessing. Photos and video of the event will be tracked on social media with the hashtag #BlessTheAnimals.

Event Details

What: “Blessing of the Animals” ceremony

When: Thursday, October 17, 3:30 p.m. EST

Where: Rayburn House Office Building Foyer

45 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C.


Members of Congress:

  • Representative Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.)


Animal participants include:

  • Bearded Dragon
  • Ball Python 
  • African Grey
  • Macaw
  • Tortoise


Religious leaders leading the service include:

  • Father Patrick Conroy, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, United Methodist Church
  • Rev. Mitch Hescox, Evangelical Environmental Network
  • Bishop Carroll Baltimore, Global United Fellowship
  • Maharat Ruth Friedman, Ohev Shalam
  • Shantha Ready Alonso, Creation Justice Ministries

 This event is open to the public.

Press Contact

Adam Sarvana

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626 mobile