Blessing The Animals

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These pic­tures were tak­en on Octo­ber 4, 2012.…just a few months before Father Michael received his can­cer diag­no­sis. I had seen him after Mass the day before. He had told the sto­ry of his moth­er and the family’s sheets. Very touched, I’d writ­ten a note thank­ing him and he respond­ed the next day with:

I will bless the ani­mals at 2:30 pm. Why don’t you bring your dog? I have mass at noon.It is the feast of St.Francis.Have the best day ever.

Fr. M

Well, my dog Beck­et was very old, 14 years- with hip prob­lems. I tried to get him into my car which was in the garage, but he just couldn’t jump into the back seat! Beck­et weighed 140 pounds, so I also had trou­ble lift­ing him. It was a lost cause. I had start­ed ear­ly, but I didn’t make it to the bless­ing that day. Lat­er I told Father M what hap­pened. He wrote:

Pet bless­ings are not restrict­ed to St Fran­cis Day. You can bring him any time I am there and I will give him a blessing.We had a good crowd of pets yes­ter­day. The chil­dren absolute­ly love it.

Bless­ings,

Father Michael

So on Octo­ber 5, I expe­ri­enced a ‘dri­ve thru’ bless­ing. I was able to get Beck­et into the car eas­i­ly from the height of the curb in front of my house .….a lit­tle mir­a­cle. Father Michael was wait­ing for me as I drove into the St Vin­cent park­ing lot. He told me “Don’t wor­ry about get­ting Beck­et out of the car. Just roll the win­dow down and I’ll sprin­kle him”.Father Michael addressed Beck­et by name and Beck­et turned to look at him atten­tive­ly. We chat­ted after­ward. Father Michael said, a lit­tle wist­ful­ly “he seems like such a nice dog.…is he a good dog?” ” Yes, he cer­tain­ly is” I said. And again I thought of how Father Michael would have loved to have a dog. Father was so hap­py doing this- just as he looks in the pic­tures. With­out a doubt,it was a delight to him .Father Michael then said “Well, I’m glad I got to bless him. You’ll see, he’ll feel bet­ter now.” He knew that Beck­et had been strug­gling at times with arthri­tis and dog­gy old age ail­ments. Beck­et did seem much more ener­getic for some time after­ward ! Beck­et died in his sleep in July 2013.

Bit­ter­sweet mem­o­ries today.…but I’m so grate­ful I have them!

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