St. Mary Parish hosted a Blessing of the Animals ceremony and ice cream social on Sunday afternoon in the St. Mary School parking lot.

The ceremony was a three-part celebration of St. Francis of Assisi and included a prayer for parishioners who brought their pets — or photos of them. The gathering also served as a charity event, with parishioners donating books and pajamas for needy children. Those collections will go to Bridgeport’s chapter of Pajama Program.

The church also welcomed its new priest, Fr. Damian Pielisz, who was reassigned from Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton.

For more information, visit www.smcr.org.