If the coronavirus pandemic has shown Chicagoans one thing, it’s that the companionship of a pet can be a blessing during all that downtime stuck at home.

Many Catholic pet owners are returning the favor this weekend as dozens of parishes across the Chicago area hold pet blessings to commemorate the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.

COVID-19 precautions moved this year’s blessings outdoors.

All types of pets are welcome, but it was mostly canine congregants who received the blessing Saturday morning from the Rev. Pat Lee outside Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the Lake View East neighborhood.

Sun-Times photographer Pat Nabong takes you there:

The Feast Day is Sunday. More than 90 parishes across the Chicago area are hosting outdoor pet blessings through Monday, including a few more ceremonies planned Oct. 10, all weather permitting.

Animals must be safely secured or on leashes. Human attendees must wear face masks and maintain 6 feet of social distance.