North York's The Donway Covenant United Church...
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Oct 02, 2016  |  Vote 0    0

North York's The Donway Covenant United Church blesses animals to mark the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi was a saint of animals and the environment

North York Mirror

The trio walked to the front of The Donway Covenant United Church, patiently waiting to get a blessing from Rev. Jennifer Palin.

Placing her hands on each of them, she offered this blessing: “You know how much your creator loves you and blesses you, amen.”

The three then sat quietly by the pews, but not before one licked Palin’s face.

Sunday, Oct. 2 marked the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who was a saint of animals and the environment. The day is also a popular one for pets to be blessed.

“This is part of how we remember St. Francis,” Palin said in an interview before the service at The Donway West and Lawrence Avenue church.

Past animals blessings at the church have included dogs, cats, bunnies and even a goldfish.

But Sunday, the spotlight was on two dogs and one cat.

Heather Sheldrick brought Boardwalk, her 10-year-old bichon-terrier-poo, who was receiving his third blessing.

“I think it’s nice but, I wish more people would take part in it,” she said, sporting a T-shirt with a picture of a dog similar to Boardwalk on the front.

Michelle Han was walking past the church earlier in the week and saw a sign about the animal blessing.

So she brought four-month-old corgi Mochi to Sunday’s service.

“I love it,” she said of the blessing for her small dog. “Usually it’s me going to church, not him.”

Stephen Lecik kept cat Harriette on a leash to make sure the four-month-old stayed close by.

“It’s mostly fun,” he said of the blessing.

But sadly, he added, “Our horse was too big to bring.”

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