Father Milo Guiry, left, blesses Beba, as she is held by Marisol Vasconcelos, right, during the annual Blessing of the Animals event held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Newhall on Saturday, October 5, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

Local pet owners come together for pet blessing

Santa Clarita Valley pet owners gathered for a special Blessing of Pets at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on Saturday.

“We’ve been doing this blessing of the animals for five years,” said Ellie Costanza, special events assistant at the church. “It’s a great way to get parishioners out on a Saturday, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Parishioners and residents alike were invited to bring their pets to have them blessed by Father Milo Guiry, who was visiting from Waterford, Ireland.

He’s been visiting the church for 35 years, and while doing so does events such as this as well as guest sermons at the church.

All kinds of pets and their owners showed up, and halfway through the event, Guiry had already blessed more than 100 animals, including mostly dogs, cats and even some turtles and birds.

Father Milo Guiry, right, stands with Guadalupe Vasquez, left, as he blesses Palomitas the doves during the annual Blessing of the Animals event held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Newhall on Saturday, October 5, 2019. Emily Alvarenga/The Signal

Parishioner Debbie Jones brought her pups Cody, 11, and Mopsy, 12.

“We come every year,” she said. “They don’t know what’s going on, but I do.”

The Villanuevas not only brought Liberty, their 16-year-old dachshund cocker spaniel mix, but also photos of other dogs who could not attend. For them, this event was very special.

“We’ve never really brought her to a church event, but this last year was hard,” Yirzely Villanueva said. “We’ve been very lucky to have her for 16 years.”

Father Milo Guiry, center, blesses Mopsy held by Debbie Jones, left, as Zach Jones holding Cody wait their turn during the annual Blessing of the Animals held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Newhall on Saturday, October 5, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

Last summer, Liberty was diagnosed with a heart condition and the Villanuevas were told she had no more than six months to a year to live.

“When she was sick, I came to get her holy water,” Rosa Villanueva said. “I give her some when she’s coughing a lot or she’s not feeling well.”

Now, Liberty has made it past the year mark, and the Villanuevas said they’re lucky.

“That’s why we knew we had to bring her while she still had her lucky stars on her side and her health,” Yirzely added.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church is located at 23233 Lyons Ave. in Newhall. For more information, visit olphscv.org or call 661-259-2276.

Father Milo Guiry, left, blesses Brownie the dog during the annual Blessing of the Animals event held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Newhall on Saturday, October 5, 2019. Emily Alvarenga/The Signal

Father Milo Guiry, left, blesses Porter the dog who is held by Kathy Rosnest, as baby Everhett and mother, Jordan Stroh look on during the annual Blessing of the Animals event held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Newhall on Saturday, October 5, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

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