The blacktop at St. James Academy became an animal kingdom at the annual Blessing of the Animals. St. James Catholic Community priest Father Ernesto Torres blessed pets of all shapes and sizes in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi. A procession of students and their pet hamsters, turtles, birds, cats, dogs, guinea pigs and reptiles received the blessing. Teachers and faculty at St. James also brought in their animals to take part in this celebration. St. Francis of Assisi is considered the patron saint of animals.