The full article by the Rev’d Steven Maki, will appear in the January issue of Anglican Life:
In honour of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Parish of Pasadena/Cormack celebrated the Blessing of Animals, and raised over $400 for local animal rescue groups. On the evening of Friday Oct 4th—St. Francis Day—parishioners and their pets gathered to receive a blessing on the rectory lawn adjacent to St. David’s. The next day we did the same at St. George’s in Cormack.
We prayed for all animal victims of violence and neglect, especially remembering a cat named Mittens who suffered unspeakable cruelty in Port Aux Basques this past September. We continued to pray for animals that are lost and lonely, for those who are ill, and for those who have passed from this life into God’s eternity.
Money raised in Cormack went to support Cormack’s Kitty Rescue, which is led by Glenda Hayes. Money raised in Pasadena went to the White Bay Scaredy Cat Rescue, which is led by Angela Wicks and Jocelyn Davis Power. Angela and Jocelyn invited us to come and see their work caring for outdoor cat communities at a closed town dump site outside of Pollards Point. This spot houses several cat colonies.
Nestled in the woods, past mounds of overgrowth, lies a shelter equipped with bedding and a wood burning stove for the warmth in the winter, which houses one entire cat colony. All but a few are left to be spayed or neutered. Sadly, most cats there have been dumped and abandoned by people. Despite the odds, they survive by the kindness of volunteers and a committed group of local caretakers.
Beyond the gatherings and blessings, and the raising of funds, my hope is to help raise awareness of God’s blessings upon all creation, including upon the animals. The very first covenant God makes with life on earth includes humans and animals alike: all with the breath of life. The sign of the rainbow marks an everlasting covenant between God and Earth’s creatures.