All Creatures Great and Small Are Blessed

Mary Johnson PhotoThe animals were aware indeed on Sunday at the Branford Compassion Club’s Animal Awareness Day. The green was alive with critters of all kind – dogs and cats, of course, along with mini horses, goats, guinea pigs, and even turtles. Overall, the animals were quiet, standing in line, awaiting their turn.

Mary Johnson PhotoThe beautiful day drew hundreds, as the green was shared by the Friends of the Blackstone Library, which was holding its annual book sale, and the Trinity Church Fair.

Mary Johnson PhotoWe caught up with First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove, his daughter, Lila, and his dog, Cooper, age 7, as they entered the green. 

Vendors shared their wares. Included were veterinary hospitals, food manufacturers, rescue groups…

Mary Johnson PhotoPet Shield veterinarians, dressed in scrubs and gowns, offered “surgery” on site, albeit for teddy bears and stuffed toys needing “emergency” care.

Mary Johnson PhotoWe can all use a little therapy and Quinnipiac University Prof. Donna Latella’s mini therapy horses were willing providers.

Mary Johnson PhotoThe goats from Nadeau Farm in Hamden are becoming well known in the area for their expertise in yoga instruction.

The highlight for all was the Blessing of the Animals, which honors St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Mary Johnson PhotoRev. Sharon Gracen of Trinity Church on the Green welcomed everyone, then read the liturgy, followed by her song, a tribute to “God and Dog.”

Mary Johnson PhotoShe introduced the clergy from local churches. All denominations were represented, including Rev. Bill Keane of First Baptist, Rev. Daniel Keefe and Rev. Glen Dmytryszyn of St. John Bosco, St. Stephen’s AME Zion Church, and Rev. James Hill from Stony Creek Congregational, and Rev. Theresa Borchetta from First Congregational. 

The crowd listened to their presentations.

The busy green proved to be a bit of an obstacle in lining up for blessings from the various local clergy. Finally, after some confusion, everyone got in place and the blessings got underway.

Mary Johnson PhotoRev. Gracen blessed a very attentive pup, one who listened to her every word.

Mary Johnson PhotoThe pastor from St. Stephen’s AME Zion Church blessed this golden pup.

Mary Johnson PhotoRev. Borchetta blessed BCC’s Pat Cotton’s kitty.

Mary Johnson PhotoRev. Keane blessed a cute Pug and his pink-attired owner.

Mary Johnson PhotoRev. Dmytryszyn blessed this cute little Shih Tsu.

Mary Johnson PhotoRev. Keefe blessed a cute little Yorkie.

Mary Johnson PhotoThe Eagle’s Sally Bahner, with Tekla, and Marcia Chambers, with Ella, joined in on the activities.

Mary Johnson PhotoFinally, amid all the busyness of the afternoon, this boy enjoyed a quiet moment with a book, courtesy of the Blackstone Library’s annual book sale. 




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