This Dog Is Welcomed At Church Where He And Depart Owner Shared Countless Moments

In the town of San Donaci in Italy, a loyal German Shepherd named Tommy attends daily Mass at the local Catholic church. Adopted by Maria Margherita Lochi, their bond transcended even her passing as Tommy continued his silent vigil in the church. Father Donato Panna marvels at Tommy’s impeccable behavior, allowing him to stay during Mass.

Discover the touching story of loyalty, community support, and the enduring connection between a faithful dog and his beloved owner in this poignant tale from the heart of Italy.

A Welcomed Guest At The Local Catholic

A Welcomed Guest At The Local Catholic 

In the picturesque town of San Donaci, near Brindisi, Italy, a heartwarming story about a welcomed guest unfolds daily at the local Catholic church. He comes in, sits quietly by the altar throughout the service, and goes back outside when mass concludes.

He is Tommy, a loyal seven-year-old German Shepherd who has become a cherished guest at the church. Tommy’s story begins with his adoption by Maria Margherita Lochi, who found him abandoned in a field. The bond between Maria and Tommy quickly grew, and they became inseparable companions.

Each day, Maria and Tommy attended mass at the church. The priest would allow Tommy to sit at Maria’s feet. He was quiet and calm and didn’t disturb anyone.

Tommy Keeps The Spirit Of Their Daily Routine Alive Beyond Maria’s Untimely Passing

Tommy Keeps The Spirit Of Their Daily Routine 

This bond between Maria and Tommy, the faithful German Shepherd, continued even beyond Maria’s untimely passing at the age of 57. Her funeral was held at the church where she attended mass daily, and naturally, Tommy was there for the service.

Now, in a poignant display of loyalty, Tommy keeps the spirit of their daily routine alive. He hears the bells ringing to call worshipers to mass each day, and he comes along. He enters the church and sits or lays quietly near the altar. Once the mass concludes, Tommy quietly exits, perhaps holding onto the hope that one day Maria will be there to join him again.

“He’s there every time I celebrate Mass and is very well behaved—he doesn’t make a sound; I’ve not heard one bark from him in all the time he has been coming in.” Father Donato Panna, the priest at the church, marvels at Tommy’s presence, noting his impeccable behavior.

Loyal German Shepherd 

Tommy continues his silent vigil at the church even after Maria’s passing. Father Donato Panna, touched by the dog’s devotion, allows Tommy to stay inside during Mass.

“He used to come to Mass with Maria, and he was obviously devoted to her. I let him stay inside as he was always so well-behaved, and none of the other parishioners ever complained to me.

He’s still coming to Mass even after Maria’s funeral; he waits patiently by the side of the altar and just sits there quietly. I didn’t have the heart to throw him out. I’ve just recently lost my dog, so I leave him there until Mass finishes, and then I let him out.”

Community’s Reactions

Community's Reactions


Tommy is well-known in the community. They moved by his loyalty and have rallied together to ensure his well-being, providing him with food and care. In the absence of Maria, the collective love and support of the community offer solace to Tommy. We think the love of his community helps heal his lonesome heart.

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