Slideshow image
     Does God bless pets? St. Francis of Assisi thought so. So do many people who are owners of pets, the thousands who love all creatures great and small.  
     The Parish of St. Matthew, Abbotsford, holds a Blessing of Pets service every year. This year was no different. On Sunday, 3 October, nine assorted dogs and one cat brought their human caregivers to church to be blessed. From lethargic to quite excitable, these loving pets prayed, each in their own way. Fr. Allen Doerksen was careful to bless each pet and each owner in turn.  
     We were reminded by the owners of how loyal each animal is. We heard how the pets present, and those who had gone before, shared love and devotion. There were moments of love that bonded the owners to their pets.  
     As the Season of Creation came to an end with the blessing of pets, all were reminded of the precious goodness of God's spiritual presence in all that there is. “God saw everything that ‘I Am’ (sic) had made; and indeed it was very good.”  (Genesis 1:31)  
By The Rev. Art Turnbull  
Photos of Animals by Melissa Farquhar  
Video title frame: St. Francis of Assisi by Jusepe de Ribera, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons