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