Categories: Inspiring

Brazilian Priest Opens Church for Stray Dogs So They Can Find New Homes

This church is indeed a haven for all creatures.

  • Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes allows stray dogs inside the Paróquia de Sant’Ana Gravatá in Brazil during mass.
  • He hopes that church attendees or someone they know will adopt the animals and give them their new and loving, forever home.
  • The priest’s kind and loving act has caused the number of stray dogs in Gravatá to reduce significantly.

The church should welcome all of God’s creation regardless of race or creed. And in this church in Brazil, an exceptional priest clearly demonstrates that, as he opens the door of his parish – even for the stray dogs.

Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes allows canines to join the mass every Sunday at Paróquia de Sant’Ana Gravatá.

Like a true Christian, Father Gomes, who is the head of the parish of Santana, does not deny anyone, including dogs, to come to church.
Photo: Winfried Niederer
He actually brings stray dogs with him during mass, hoping they’ll attract attention and get adopted.
Photo: Padre João Paulo Araujo Gomes
And the dogs do crave attetion! They can’t help but come near him to ask for some belly rubs and pats.
Photo: Padre João Paulo Araujo Gomes
The kind priest provides temporary shelter and protection for stray dogs in his rectory.
Photo: Padre João Paulo Araujo Gomes
This includes bringing them to the vet for medical treatment, whenever necessary.
Photo: Padre João Paulo Araujo Gomes

On Facebook, Father Gomes wrote:

“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.”

It all started when someone offered him cookies, which attendees immediately took when he left them out in mass, according to Father Gomes. That gave him the idea when he chanced upon a dog kennel with 96 dogs.

“Then I began to bring the dogs to mass, with the same hopes of
giving them away,” the priest told Metro UK.

“In six months, I finished this process. all dogs were adopted.”

Soon after, he began this dog rescue mission.
Photo: Padre João Paulo Araujo Gomes
Helping street dogs that enter the church searching for shelter, food, and water.
Photo: Padre João Paulo Araujo Gomes
The priest then asked the community to join his mission by inviting people who may want to adopt dogs.
Photo: Padre João Paulo Araujo Gomes
He also adopted three of these loving, furry creatures himself.
Photo: Padre João Paulo Araujo Gomes
Giving them the affection they never had.

In an interview he said:

“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.”

Because of Father Gomes, the number of stray dogs in Gravatá lowered substantially.
Photo: Padre João Paulo Araujo Gomes
Dozens of them have been adopted thru the parish.
Photo: Padre João Paulo Araujo Gomes

The priest’s action didn’t go unnoticed. One of his photos went viral on social media, and thousands of people commented positively as most believe that it’s a great example to follow.

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