Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023 |
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‘ELE‘ELE — Poha could not fit into the tiny church in ‘Ele‘ele on Sunday.
Actually, the horse could, but on a previous appearance, it was a task to back the horse out of the wooden-framed church once she was in, said Pastor Mary Lindquist of the Episcopal Church on West Kaua‘i.
Celie Williams, Poha’s owner, said not only was Poha going to be blessed, she was going to give rides to the younger parishioners of the St. John’s & St. Paul’s Episcopal Churches, where Poha quietly waited for all the creatures to arrive for the blessing.
The blessing is the St. Francis Day blessing of the animals, and is in honor of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures.
The Episcopal Church on West Kaua‘i was not alone in the blessing of the animals, as the Hanapepe United Church of Christ also hosted an animal blessing Saturday prior to the start of its first Bento Bakko, Etc. fund-raiser food sale (see a related photo on A8).
The All Saints Church in Kapa‘a hosted the Kaua‘i Humane Society for an adopt-a-pet event Saturday afternoon, preceding a movie night at the All Saints gym coordinated by the church’s youth group, and on Sunday afternoon, St. Michael & All Angels’ Episcopal Church in Lihu‘e hosted a blessing of the animals.
“This shows how special pets are to their owners,” Williams said, while waiting on the start of the ‘Ele‘ele service. “There are a lot of animals on this island, and they’re very special.”
Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, loved the larks flying about his hilltop town, states Kevin Mackin, a Franciscan of the Holy Name Provine, on the American Catholic website.
“St. Francis loved music,” Lindquist said. “He sang at every chance he got.”
And Mandy, the canine companion of ECWK Choir Director Lyn Farman, demonstrated the love, weaving between the choir members’ legs and parading in front of the group during their rehearsal.
Francis wrote “The Canticle of the Creatures,” an ode to God’s living things. He is known as a “lover of all creation.”
Mackin said for single householders, a pet can be a true companion.
“Many people arrive home from work to find a furry friend overjoyed at their return,” he said on the website. “Many a senior has a lap filled with a purring fellow creature.”
The bond between person and pet is like no other relationship, because the communication between fellow creatures is at its most basic. Eye-to-eye, a man and his dog, are two creatures of love.
“Church is the place where the bond of creation is celebrated,” Mackin said.
• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or email@example.com.
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