Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 17 September |
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

They’re baaaack: The landscaping sheep return to NYC’s Old St. Patrick’s

SHEEP

Jeffrey Bruno | Aleteia

Zelda Caldwell - published on 09/14/17

The trio of of sheep keep the city churchyard tidy.

For the fourth year in a row a team of three sheep are taking over grounds-keeping duties at New York City’s Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, reports the New York Times.

The ovine landscapers, who are on loan from a small farm in Elizaville, New York, will spend six weeks munching grass in the churchyard in the heart of New York’s trendy Nolita neighborhood.

In what has become an annual tradition eagerly anticipated by the church’s parishioners and neighbors, the sheep will tend the grass in the graveyard amidst the weathered tombstones outside the historic 1815 church. Old St. Patrick’s served as the city’s cathedral until it was replaced by the much larger uptown St. Patrick’s in 1879.

The first crew of sheep came to the church because of a vacancy on the landscaping staff in 2014.

Msgr. Donald Sakona, the pastor, told Aleteia’s John Burger, “It began with our groundskeeper retiring. I remember saying to him, ‘Well what are we going to do—get sheep?’

“And the minute I said that, I thought, ‘Well, why not?’”

The sheep, who are said to do a “better job than the guy who cuts the grass,” are evangelizers of a sort, attracting attention among the busy passersby.

“They’re irresistible in a mystical way, because they don’t do anything,” Msgr. Sakano told the Times. “The attraction is, in a pressure-cooker world where there’s so much anxiety, they’re the image of tranquility.”


SHEEP;NEW YORK

Read more:
In trendy New York quarter, sheep graze while pastor eyes greater flock

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
CELEBRITIES
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
2
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
3
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
4
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
5
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
6
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.