BROWNWOOD - The first ever, “Blessing of the Animals” hosted by the Greenleaf Cemetery Association will be held from 1-3 p.m. Sunday.

BROWNWOOD - The first ever, “Blessing of the Animals” hosted by the Greenleaf Cemetery Association will be held from 1-3 p.m. Sunday. Visitors are encouraged to bring their beloved animal friends including dogs, cats, horses and goats to Greenleaf Cemetery to the event organized to raise funds for the perpetual care of the cemetery during the spring growing season.

“Normally the blessings are done in October,” said Greenleaf Cemetery Association Board President Steve Harris said. “We could not wait, but we will have another blessing in October.”

“Blessing of the Animals,” is a ceremony remembering St. Francis Assisi and his love for all creatures. On Sunday, visitors will enter the cemetery at Center Street and Texas Avenue and will then receive a blessing from Pastor Doug House of Union Presbyterian Church who will be set up at a chapel. In remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures, animals are led to the “Blessing of the Animals,” where the officiant sprinkles the animal with holy water and says a special prayer.

Following the blessing, the visitors will receive special bottled water and a St. Francis of Assisi prayer card. Donations will be accepted during the event. Visitors can drive on the trail and out at the exit at U.S. Highway 377 South.

The trail at the cemetery has been adorned with iron art animals on loan from event sponsor Trees Forever Nursery. Other sponsors for the event include Sterling Monuments, Reed Memorial, Moore Printing, KOXE and La Sorella.  

This event will be the first of eight fundraisers slated for 2018.

Other fundraisers for 2018 include:

Mothers Day Butterfly Release - Sunday, May 13.

Robert E. Howard Days -  June 9-10.

Fathers Day Car Show -  Sunday, June 17.

Snow Cones and Sparklers and Grillin' for Greenleaf -  Wednesday, July 4.

Movie Fundraiser (a partnership with Lyric Theatre with Airstream campers) Oct. 26-27.

Holiday Trail of Lights - Dec. 14-15 and Dec. 21-23.

“We hope to raise $40,000 plus this year from the fundraising events,” Harris said. “All of the money from our fundraisers goes into the general fund and that is how we pay for perpetual care throughout the year.”

Over the past two years, the GCA has partnered with Keep Brownwood Beautiful on many projects and will continue to do so in 2018.

“Keep Brownwood Beautiful has been a tremendous help to Greenleaf Cemetery and we are forever grateful,” Harris said.

If you would like to help Greenleaf Cemetery with a financial donation, or become a $250 to $1,000 event sponsor, please do so in one of the following ways:

For non-tax deductible donations

Make checks payable to Greenleaf Cemetery and indicate on the memo line if you would like your donation earmarked for the general fund or the specific fundraising event.

For tax deductible donations

Make checks payable to Keep Brownwood Beautiful and write “Greenleaf Project” on the memo line.

The Greenleaf Cemetery Association was incorporated April 10, 1923  The Greenleaf Cemetery is a non-profit perpetual care cemetery. Its governing body consists of five board members, elected by members of the Greenleaf Cemetery Association.  The cemetery is located off Highway 377 South (Brady Highway) across the railroad tracks within the city limits of Brownwood.

Source:  Taken directly from  http://browncountyhistory.org/greenleafC.html