Priest Invites Stray Dogs Into His Church In Hopes of Them Finding Their Forever Homes

Priest Brings Stray Dogs to Church

The Paróquia de Sant’Ana Gravatá in Gravatá, Brazil is an unlikely place for animal adoption. But every Sunday, the church welcomes not only its parishioners but stray dogs, too. Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes is at the helm of this heartwarming act; he invites pups from off the streets to be part of weekend Mass in hopes that attendees will want to take them home.

Gomes' commitment to these forgotten dogs goes beyond weekly Mass. He acts as a foster to the stray canines and houses them in his rectory prior to Sunday. (It should come as no surprise that a few of the dogs have found their forever homes with him.) For pups that need medical assistance, Gomes has helped to nurse the ill animals back to health. The priest isn't alone in these efforts, however, and with the help of volunteers, they have installed feeders outside of the church to ensure that all dogs have access to fresh food and water.

When Sunday comes, the pups are incorporated into Gomes' sermons and sometimes stand with him as he speaks. Other times, they are napping in the aisles or enjoying a nice pat on the head. But they don't need to wait until Mass to see how welcoming the church is to them.  “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,” Gomes wrote on Facebook. “If I'm the greatest sinner I can enter— imagine these four-legged angels. Nobody touches my protected.”

The Paróquia de Sant’Ana Gravatá in Gravatá, Brazil opens its doors to stray dogs in the area.

Priest Brings Stray Dogs to Church

Spearheaded by Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes, he invites the pups to be part of his sermon in hopes that the parishioners will want to adopt them.

Priest Brings Stray Dogs to ChurchHeartwarming Animal StoriesPriest Brings Stray Dogs to ChurchPriest Brings Stray Dogs to ChurchPriest Brings Stray Dogs to Church

In addition to this act of kindness, Gomes fosters stray dogs and has worked with volunteers to build feeders outside the church so that they'll always have access to fresh food and water.

Priest Brings Stray Dogs to ChurchPriest Petting Stray DogsHeartwarming Animal Stories

It should come as no surprise that he's adopted some of his fosters!

Priest Petting Stray DogsFather João Paulo Araujo Gomes: Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [Bored Panda]

All images via Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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