Homeless dogs are regularly attending church services in Brazil to meet with their new owners. Sadly, when you think dogs magically turn to God for help, it’s not exactly the case, but at Paróquia de Sant’Ana Gravatá, this incredible scenario can still be found every Sunday.
Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes, head of Santana Parish in Gravatá City, Brazil, does the kindest and motivating thing for stray dogs around his church. He invites forgotten street dogs to join his service to help them find loving homes. His church’s doors will always be open to dogs as well as his big heart. And if dogs were involved, who wouldn’t attend Mass?
Dogs give us unconditional love, laughter, and precious memories, and paying them back is nothing less than fair. Whether you are a faithful believer in God or not, we can slowly make the world a better place as long as you believe in kindness and compassion.
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Father João Paulo keeps stray dogs away from the dangers of the streets in his rectory. Nevertheless, he takes his furry friends to the church service in hopes of being heard. That’s why every Sunday, the priest keeps the dogs at the center of attention, a suitable place for all to see. As loyal as they may look in front of the altar, dogs will be dogs and they will always be in for some petting. Because they are happy and cute, pups always visit the priest of the altar for some affection and rub their eyes, and Father João never disappoints!
“They will always be able to enter, sleep, eat, drink their water and find shelter and protection, for this house is of God and they are of God,” Father João Paulo wrote on Facebook. He engages the community of the large church in his mission by encouraging them to invite people interested in bringing home a new member of the family. His compassionate actions, starting from Gravatá, raise awareness and help bring about change.
Most rescued dogs are neglected, affected by cruel street life and urgently needed support and care. Not only has the loving Father given these poor creatures a temporary home and love, but he is also taking good care of them, feeding them, and providing all the medical treatment required. Their spectacular recoveries warm our hearts and show what we can do with love and care. A little act of kindness that makes an extreme difference for Gravatá’s forgotten dogs.
Thanks to the actions of the priest, there has been a significant reduction in the number of abandoned dogs on Gravatá streets, which has 228,000 inhabitants. Dozens of stray dogs have found loving homes already. In reality, the kind-hearted priest could not help but adopt some himself after meeting so many faithful animals in person.
“I helped several dogs with serious health problems. Some of them I brought to the parish house and they were later adopted. Three of them stayed with me. Today, they are my children and sleep in my bed,” the Father told Bored Panda.
After a photo of him conducting mass with a dog by his side went viral on Facebook, the sincere actions of the priest did not go unnoticed. Christian solidarity’s selfless gesture echoed on social networks and created a flood of positive comments, with thousands of citizens praising the social action of the priest. Inspired people for the kind heart of the priest did not hold back respect and blessings and thought it was a great example to follow. One of the many affected people named him a real hero to support those who don’t have their own voice.
Funnily enough, this is not the first appearance in churches around the world of dogs and other animals. From a dog unexpectedly crashing church service in summer of this year (also in Brazil) to annual pet blessings during the St. Francis Day in honor of the Patron Saint of Animals, St. Francis of Assisi – animals seem to feel pretty relaxed in the parish. While serving the good cause, do you think it’s something the holy places could adopt more often?