- Title: BOLIVIA: PRIEST BLESSES DOGS IN HONOUR OF ST ROGUE
- Date: 19th August 2004
- Summary: (U7) EL ALTO, BOLIVIA (RECENT) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. WIDE OF CORPUS CHRISTI CHURCH IN THE VILLA ADELA NEIGHBOURHOOD OF EL ALTO 0.02 2. CLOSE OF DOG ARRIVING AT THE CHURCH WITH ITS OWNER. 0.05 3. VARIOUS OF PEOPLE TAKING THEIR DOGS TO CHURCH. 0.11 4. CLOSE OF CHILD HOLDING HIS DOG 0.15 5. SLV WOMAN WITH DOG GETTING OUT OF MINIBUS 0.27 6. SLV 0CHILDREN TAKING THEIR DOGS TO CHURCH 0.30 7. VARIOUS CLOSE UPS OF DOGS 0.36 8. VARIOUS OF PEOPLE BRINGING THEIR DOGS INTO THE CHURCH TO BE BLESSED 0.50 9. VARIOUS OF FATHER OBERMAIER SAYING MASS 1.09 10. SLV PEOPLE AND DOGS LISTENING. 1.14 11. WIDE OF PRIEST SAYING MASS / DOG LOOKING AT CAMERA 1.15 12. VARIOUS OF PRIEST GIVING PEOPLE COMMUNION 1.27 13. WIDE OF PEOPLE AT MASS 1.30 14. PAN DOWN FROM CHURCH TOWER TO CONGREGATION 1.41 15. VARIOUS OF PROCESSION OF THE PRIEST, PARISHIONERS AND THEIR DOGS 1.45 16. SLV OF TERRIER JUMPING 1.48 17. VARIOUS OF PROCESSION/ MEN WITH RELIGIOUS PICTURES 2.01 18. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FATHER SEBASTIAN OBERMAIER, SAYING: "You can say I only bless the dogs, but I think that I also bring the people together to give thanks to God for the miracle of dogs." 2.10 19. VARIOUS OF PRIEST BLESSING THE DOGS 2.17 20. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JUANA CHAMBI, DOG OWNER, SAYING: "Because his saint has the little animal, it's San Roque who will bless him for me because we can't leave him like that any more just because he's an animal. We can't leave him, but it's his saint who blesses us too, blesses those who raise him." 2.33 21. VARIOUS OF FATHER OBERMAIER BLESSING THE DOGS 2.42 22. CLOSE OF PUPPIES IN BASKET BEING BLESSED 2.45 23. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CARLOS QUISPE, SAYING: "That he be good and not harm anyone." 2.52 24. WIDE OF DOGS LINING UP AND BEING BLESSED BY THE PRIEST. 3.01 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 3rd September 2004 13:00
- Location: EL ALTO, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Reuters ID: LVA5B1IOCR5Z1LMXG7QFM1VPD9LA
- Story Text: In Bolivia's poorest city, El Alto, hundreds of dogs
and their owners attend mass at a local church in honour of
San Roque, the patron saint of dogs.
At the Corpus Christi church in Bolivia's poorest
city, El Alto, hundreds of parishioners attended a special
mass on Monday (August 16) together with their dogs, who
were the guests of honour.
The dogs were the main focus of the day as parishioners
celebrated the day of Saint Roque, the patron saint of
Father Sebastian Obermaier, a German priest who has
been living for thirty years in this Bolivian city, blessed
hundreds of dogs in a traditional mass which was followed
by a procession around Villa Adela square.
Together with their owners, the dogs, many of them
adorned with multicoloured streamers and paper flowers in
honour of their patron saint, paraded through the Corpus
Christi parish which is known among the 700,000 inhabitants
of El Alto for Obermaier's work there in aid of the poor,
especially the children in the area.
The dogs, most of them mongrels although some breeds
were present, paraded proudly and loudly around the square
before returning to the temple patio to be sprinkled with
According to Father Obermaier, the day is not just
about giving the dogs his blessing.
"You can say I only bless the dogs, but I think that I also bring
the people together to give thanks to God for
the miracle of dogs," he said.
For dog-owner Juana Chambi, San Roque is not only
blessing the dogs.
"It's his saint who blesses us too, blesses those who
raise him," she told Reuters.
Fellow dog-owner Carlos Quispe had a simple wish for
his own canine chum, "that he be good and not harm anyone."
San Roque was born in 1378, the son of a French
governor who dedicated his life to the poor. Many cures
were attributed to the saint, who himself fell ill but was
miraculously saved by a dog.
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