The Rev. Gerardo Ramirez, Priest in charge at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Carle Place will conduct his traditional “Blessing of the Pets” service to celebrate the life of St. Francis of Assisi on Sunday the 14th of October at 12 noon in the Parish Hall. Father Ramirez says, “Our church’s mission is to reach out to the needs of the community, and St Francis’ love of all of God’s creatures makes him a particularly appropriate figure head for this service.”
Born into wealth, St. Francis (1181–1226) lived as a playboy before going to war where he was wounded. In recovery St. Francis had a vision of Jesus Christ that turned his life around. Today St. Francis is one of our most beloved saints. His Franciscan Order, dedicated to the care of the poor, the sick and needy exists in many churches: Anglican/ Episcopal, Roman Catholic, Lutheran to name just a few.
St. Francis has long been associated with his love of animals. His iconic image is often seen in garden statuary holding out his hands to wildlife. To prove that love is a positive contagion and to, amplify this singular aspect of St. Francis’ caring ways, many churches now celebrate this association by holding special “Blessing of the Pets” services.
The “Blessing of the Pets” ceremony, will be preceeded by a reception in St. Mary’s Parish Hall which will be held immediately after its regular 10 o’clock service. Fr. Ramirez says, “The event is open to all, whether they have pets or not, and it isn’t mandatory to bring a pet if attendees prefer to leave them at home. We’re encouraging all animal lovers to join us on this joyous occasion. I will be distributing Free St Francis prayer cards, and a free-will collection will be taken that will be given to the local, all-volunteer animal rescue group, “Last Hope,Inc. “ Long seen as one of the animals’ best friends, Last Hope, Inc., has been a registered non-profit organization since 1985. The organization is dedicated to saving abandoned, unwanted and helpless dogs and cats. Although headquartered in Minnesota, it has a strong presence on Long Island. For more information, visit their Website.
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Carle Place, a landmark, has been called “the little church with the big heart.” Since 1926 Christians of all denominations have gone there for worship and conviviality. The church is located at 252 Rushmore Avenue between Glen Cove and Roslyn Avenues. For more information vist WWW.StMarysCarlePlace.com.