Pets went to a Boardman church to be blessed
By David Skolnick
Barbara Jones’ 16-year-old tabby cat, Princess, diagnosed over a year ago with lymphoma, is living comfortably because of a combination of love, medical treatment and prayer, her owner says.
Jones, of Austintown, who has two other cats, took Princess to St. James Episcopal Church’s annual Blessing of the Animals last year and again Sunday.
“I brought her last year, and she had a good year,” Jones said. “I came back again for another good year. We do what we have to do for our pets.”
The blessing event “has helped Princess. The truth is right here,” said Jones as she pointed to her fluffy cat.
Princess was among about 30 pets — dogs and cats — blessed at the church at 7640 Glenwood Ave. by the Rev. John Wigle, a retired associate priest.
The event took place on Rogation Sunday, the day in which the church traditionally blesses crops being planted and farm animals for providing sustenance to their communities.
“We bless the land and the animals,” the Rev. Mr. Wigle said. “I love to do this. It’s wonderful to bring people together with their pets.”
Among those at the event were Phillip Cully of Boardman and Maggie, his 10-year-old long-legged beagle/labrador mix.
“I want her to see the other dogs and for her to get blessed,” Cully said. “Being social with other dogs is good for her. She’s in good health and is very happy.”
Cully praised the church’s event.
“It’s a great program; it’s very nice,” he said. “Animals need a lot of love, and not all of us give them that love.”
Also, there was Chris Borman of Columbus — who grew up in Boardman and was in the area to visit his mother, Becky, who lives in Canfield — and Trooper Junior, his 8-year-old Great Dane.
“It’s a fun event,” said Borman, who used to be a parishioner at St. James when he lived in the Mahoning Valley. “It’s a different take on church.”
Heidi Peditto and her husband, John Gilley, moved to Boardman last Tuesday from Bucks County, Pa.
“My husband was looking for churches to join and found this one and said, ‘They have an animal blessing,’” Peditto said.
The two brought Sugar, their 12-year-old greyhound, to the event.
“It’s a great program and a great idea,” she said.