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The Paróquia de Sant’Ana Gravatá in Gravatá, Brazil is an unlikely place for animal adoptions to take place. But every Sunday, the church welcomes not only  parishioners but also stray dogs. Father João Paulo Araujo Gómez is at the forefront of this heartwarming act. He invites puppies from out of town to a weekend fair in hopes that visitors will want to take the puppies home. 

Gomez's commitment to  forgotten dogs extends beyond weekly Mass. He takes care of stray dogs and puts them in the parsonage by Sunday. (It's no surprise that several dogs have found  forever homes with him.) For puppies in need of medical care, Gomez helps nurse sick animals back to health. Ta. But the priest is not alone in these efforts,  and with the help of volunteers, he set up bird feeders outside  the church and made sure all dogs had access to fresh food and water. I made it.

When Sunday comes, the puppies join Gomez in his sermons, sometimes speaking together. Sometimes he takes a nap in the hallway and enjoys patting his head. But they don't have to wait until Mass to find out how warmly the church will welcome them. “This house belongs to God and they belong to God, so they can always come in and sleep, eat, drink  water and find shelter and protection,” Gomez said on Facebook I wrote this. “Imagine these four-legged angels if I were the biggest sinner I could walk. No one touches my protection. ”

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