Category Archives: St. Francis of Assisi

Critter Lovers

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My Mom and Betty White adore animals of every species and support their

lives with their extra money. My Mom has always been part of the ones who

would donate to any and all causes for animal preservation, prevention to

cruelty and local humane societies. They both use their humor and their

love of animals to ‘keep on going.’ Betty White is often on talk shows, in

movies and recently Hallmark featured her in a movie about a woman who

was waiting for her husband to come back from WWII. It is called, “The

Lost Valentine.”

 

Both women, although far apart in their professions, my Mom and Betty,

were widows and kept on their toes, with causes and interests. Betty has said,

she would have retired long ago, except that she wanted to continue to be able

to donate for animals’ rights. Both of these over 80 year old women, Mom and

Betty, live purposeful and meaningful lives.

 

Oh, and if you didn’t know this; both women ‘love’ Cleveland! You may see

Betty White performing and cracking her audiences up in, “Hot in Cleveland,”

on TV Land on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. (Ch. 38- Central Ohio time)

 

If you were to live in Cleveland area, here are some extraordinary animal

supportive entertainment projects being carried on, forwarded from last

Sunday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer, via Mom.

Everything from hummingbirds’ research and studies, which you may be

willing to observe and participate to “cat karaoke night,” are included in

this list of 10 upcoming events or fundraising projects!

 

1.  On Friday, September 262014: The group named,  “tails from the city,”

will hold “Karaoke for Cats,” at Paddy Rock Superpub.  This is located at

16700 A. Lorain Road. The group will take questions or donations at:

http://tailsfromthecitycleveland.org

 

2. The Northeast Ohio Circus Boycott Committee can be found on Facebook.

This organization promotes animals living in their natural environments.

They believe that animals should not be made to perform, should be able to

utilize their natural instinctive behaviors and not trained behaviors. Forcing

animals to perform is considered, “mistreatment.” There also is a phone

number for this organization: (440)-213-6342.

 

3. There is a New APP for smartphones that will inform the public of how to

help orphaned or injured wild animals. Free guidance can be found for the

group, Animal Help Now or

http://ahnow.org

 

4.  Do you want to show your appreciation for animals with a variety of

t-shirts with slogans?

The two organizations support animals:

http://sunfrogshirts.com

http://SmolasRescueRailroad/rescue

 

5.  This is so cool! Did you know humane societies and animal shelters collect

package weight circles from Purina Pet Food bags and products? Apparently,

Purina is like the Campbell Soup labels for education program and will reimburse

different non-profit shelters by their receiving labels for dogs, cats, bunnies, and

other domestic animals.

 

6. The National Audubon Society is asking for information about the hummingbirds

in your area. They are offering a free APP for people to contribute to their study of

hummingbirds:

http://hummingbirdsathome.org

 

7.  The Volunteer Vets and Valley Save-A-Pet organizations in Cleveland, Ohio are

working together by offering free spaying and neutering surgeries for dogs and cats

of low income owners. This outstanding joined forces group helped to perform more

than 1200 surgeries last year. Their program is titled, “Have A Heart.” They request

the participants fill out income guidelines and the animals be younger than two

years old and at least 35 pounds. If you wish to participate or donate:  Please Call:

(440)-232-CATS (2287)

 

8. September 21st the Annual Rainbow Bridge Walk and Run will begin at 1 p.m.

to honor and remember pets who have passed on into heaven. This is located in the

North Park, 3595 Grafton Road, Brunswick, Ohio.

Details for the Rainbow Walk can be found at:

http://rainbowbridgewalk.com

 

9. The Medina Pet Pantry is accepting pet food donations, leftovers from animals who

have died or newly purchased at: 6335 Wedgewood Road, Medina, Ohio.

 

10. Going along with the #s 8 and 9, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio

will be holding their Pet Blessings service in remembrance of beloved pets who are living

and also, ones that have passed on, October 5, 2014 between 1-3 p.m.  More details at:

http://stpatrick4u.net

 

If you are an animal lover, you may already know about the fantastic veterinarian and

author, James Herriot. I loved his longer, autobiographical adventures for anyone from

middle school and older. They are rich in English countryside, customs and anecdotes.

Here is his beautiful list of books, which I have treasured for years:

1. All Creatures Great and Small

2. All Things Bright and Beautiful

3. All Things Wise and Wonderful

4. The Lord God Made Them All

There are several more, including The Best of James Herriot but I am not sure, unless

you are a parent whose children adored animals and you were in the juvenile books area,

that some of you are aware of these special and meaningful story books. Each is illustrated

beautifully and my own children chose one of these to focus on in their growing up years:

1. Moses the Kitten (1984).

This was our first James Herriot book we invited into our home.

2. Oscar, Cat About Town.

3. Only One Woof.

4. The Christmas Baby Kitten.

This is kept in our Christmas book collection huge basket.

5. Bonny’s Big Day.

Horse lovers, this is about a special horse!

6. Blossom Comes Home.

People who have affection towards those doe-eyed cows, should

check out this sweet story.

7. The Market Square Dog.

 

There may be more books, your own personal animal stories you may wish to share

in our comments and responses. We all like animals, it is a true fact, babies and pets

are sometimes what bring smiles from even the ‘grouchiest’ people!

 

I will be shortly walking out of the library to see one of the biggest horse parades in

the United States. (Delaware, Ohio at 3 p.m. on September 7th.) I will be running into

a number of my friends, church members and neighbors. I will be sitting on a curb

soon, enjoying the community sense of fellowship and high expectation. In the past,

there have been diverse costumes, including Native American, (some represent the

history of this area, as descendants of the Mingo tribe), KISS band member look-alikes,

old-fashioned period costumes, Servicemen and women, Amish men and women with

their bonnets on, guiding their wagons and Clydesdales.

I will keep my eyes peeled, my camera ready to capture the horses with my coworker

and friend Amy, her ex-mother in law and daughter, riding together as a Trio entry in the

parade. The parade committee and guest judges will be choosing Best of Show, Most

Unique and other categories of winners for varied entries in this annual parade.

I have written about Amy’s horses, Spirit, Lokie and Sapphire. I have not been sure of

which ones they will be riding, one in all turquoise, another in all golden colors and the

third one, still up in the air, as of Friday. This means the headdress and blanket under the

saddle are of a chosen color, all in the ‘regalia’ of horse finery!

 

I am wearing this cowgirl on a horse, fall colors shirt, you can see in my avatar photo. No pants

today, since it is quite sunny and pleasant. Will be sitting on West Winter Street, with some

members of the family waving at the cowboys, cowgirls and children who are in this

All Horse Parade.

Supposedly, it is still considered, “The Biggest All Horse Parade East of the Mississippi!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Francis makes a fine name for a Pope

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I was very pleased to hear about a down to earth, South American

(Argentina) cardinal making his way up to become a Pope. You have

probably heard a lot about his helping the poor and reaching out to

beggars in his lifetime.

Having a grandmother from Germany who loved Catholicism and

had her own rosary beads, I knew a little about being a Catholic.

My mother has become more and more a resident in the past,

although she does fine in her senior living apartment up on the

West side of Cleveland. She enjoys having her 5 table mates for

dinner, whose lively conversation includes usually has some gossip

to repeat to me about the people who live in that place.

She also does well at taking care of her “best friend” Nicki, her

dog, which is a mixed breed little fur ball! It has some shih tzu in

her breeding.

My Mom has taken to watching the Catholic channel and will write

me some of the homilies she has heard on recent television programs.

She is not a devout Catholic, more of a follower of God through what she

interprets with her heart and mind.

This new habit of watching the Catholic services and listening to their

sermons and homilies stems back to or is more of a reference to her

childhood lessons from her mother.

My parents always believed in taking us to church, which we all have

become varied followers and believers of God. My two brothers and I

have approached religion in about three different ways. But we all respect

that  each individual needs to have their own personal beliefs. I took my 3

children to church almost every Sunday from their baby years through their

high school years.  We said bedtime and some meals were accompanied by

prayers. Only 1 of 3 of my grown children goes to church currently.

Anyway, this is all leading up to tell you that I have always loved St. Francis

of Assisi due to a pretty plaque on my grandparents’ wall.

I am sure this was due to my grandmother who was born in Germany and

followed her own mother’s Catholic faith. My grandfather, her husband, was

born in Sweden, followed more of an agnostic practice. But from time to time

he would say to my Dad as we drove out of their driveway, “Drive like a

Christian!”

Both my Dad and Grandpa Mattson would ask this question when a

scientific theory came up or my Christian aunt and uncle were there

debating things, “How BIG is your GOD?” (Meaning, do you feel God

encompasses all religions and faiths, along with loving all people?)

The St. Francis plaque,  in my memories,had a handsome, gentle looking

man with a white cloak on with a dove on his shoulder, a deer overlooking

his other shoulder and little creatures at his feet. These animals including

a squirrel, chipmunk, mouse, and a bunny rabbit. I loved St. Francis of Assisi’s

peaceful countenance. I also loved the prayer that accompanied this picture.

I am sure most readers will recognize the very powerful and sweetly sounding

words and see why they mean a lot to me.

These words are from the first part of the St. Francis of Assisi prayer:

“Lord make me an instrument of Thy peace

Where there is hatred, sow love…

injury;  pardon…

doubt; faith…

despair; hope…

darkness; light…

sadness; joy…”

It finishes the prayer with more finite words and you can find it on

the internet but the last part does not have as much meaning to myself.

I love the open minded interpretation to the beginning of this prayer.

More recently, in this century, St. Francis was also given the credit for

believing in the environment. Pope John Paul II (Nov. 29, 1979) declared him

the Patron of Ecology. I also like it that St. Francis was the one who thought

that animals should be in a Christmas Creche or Nativity Scene.

Whenever you see the Pope’s name he chose, know that no other Pope has

chosen the name of Francis before.  Remember the prayer and its universal

meaning and the animals and ecology that are attributed to Saint Francis.

I find it comforting to know that the new Pope has chosen such a humble

follower of God as his namesake!