St. Charles church holds its first drive-thru pet blessing

  • The Rev. Stacy A. Walker, rector at St. Charles Episcopal Church, greets a dog in a first drive-thru pet blessing Sunday, Oct. 4, at the church parking lot.

    The Rev. Stacy A. Walker, rector at St. Charles Episcopal Church, greets a dog in a first drive-thru pet blessing Sunday, Oct. 4, at the church parking lot. Courtesy of Al Benson

  • A dog receives a blessing from the Rev. Stacy A. Walker as part of St. Charles Episcopal Church's first drive-thru pet blessing Sunday, Oct. 4.

    A dog receives a blessing from the Rev. Stacy A. Walker as part of St. Charles Episcopal Church's first drive-thru pet blessing Sunday, Oct. 4. Courtesy of Al Benson

  • Pet owners line up for a blessing at St. Charles Episcopal Church's first drive-thru pet blessing Sunday, Oct. 4.

    Pet owners line up for a blessing at St. Charles Episcopal Church's first drive-thru pet blessing Sunday, Oct. 4. Courtesy of Al Benson

  • The annual pet blessing at St. Charles Episcopal Church raised $50 in donations for Batavia-based Starfish Animal Rescue.

    The annual pet blessing at St. Charles Episcopal Church raised $50 in donations for Batavia-based Starfish Animal Rescue. Courtesy of Al Benson

 
Submitted by Al Benson
Posted10/14/2020 11:06 AM

St. Charles Episcopal Church held its first St. Francis Day drive-thru blessing of animals Sunday, Oct. 4.

The Rev. Stacy A. Walker, rector, said the annual event was changed to a drive-thru and moved to the church parking for social distancing due to COVID-19 protocols.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

She blessed animals in owners' vehicles and provided a bag of treats and a participation certificate for each pet. According to the rector, her blessings over the past 10 years have included birds, gerbils, goldfish, geckos and photos of pets.

Freewill donations for Starfish Animal Rescue in Batavia totaled $50.

The 17th annual event drew more than 20 cars, 30-plus dogs, two cats, and their 40-plus favorite humans.

Rev. Walker said the blessing event is held Sunday, Oct. 4, because it is St. Francis of Assisi feast day. St. Francis, she explained, is the patron saint of Italy, animals and nature and the current Pope's namesake. St. Francis not only cared for impoverished people, he lived as one, and founded a movement of monks who live lives of simple poverty out and about in the world. He wrote songs and preached to both birds and people. Over the nearly eight centuries since his death, many have said that in no other human being has the life of Jesus come more vividly alive.

To learn more about Starfish Animal Rescue, visit www.starfishanimalrescue.com or www.facebook.com/starfishanimalrescue/.

The church is hosting in-person worship at 9:30 a.m. Sundays or join them on the Facebook livestream. To attend in-person worship, sign up via the church website.

For information on St. Charles Episcopal Church, visit www.stcharlesepiscopal.org or www.facebook.com/StCharlesEpiscopalIL/.

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