As I was thinking about our Blessing of the Animals service tomorrow, I remembered a conversation I had some years ago with my grandson. It is still relevant and continues to make me Laugh Out Loud. Here is an exert from a reflection I shared in October 2015:

“Grandma, do dogs go to heaven?” That’s what my 10-year old grandson, Michael asked one morning as we crossed the street together.

“Yes, I think dogs definitely go to heaven,” I replied.

“Do they go to dog heaven or to people’s heaven?”

“Oh, I think there’s only one heaven and somehow we will all be there together!”

“Great! Then I’ll get to see Neeno!”

Hmmm…Apparently, he had not heard how Pope Francis had consoled another young boy on the same subject last December. Click here to read the article that appeared in USA Today.

But then, why should a ten-year-old care what the Pope had to say when, in his eyes, his grandmother was a far more reliable resource?

Like most theological topics, there are varying opinions about this, and people have debated whether the Pope meant his comments the way they seemed.

Still, I could see the relief on Michael’s face, sheer joy that eternity held a special place for both him and his beloved Neeno who is still very much alive. Wherever he ends up, that’s where he wants Neeno to be, and that’s where I want to be too!

I have watched people with their pets and the love that exists between them, even as I hold fond memories of my childhood pets and those enjoyed by my sons as they were growing up. The love is genuine, authentic, healing. And as I often say and truly believe, “Wherever love is, ‘tis heaven there.”

Tomorrow we will hold a virtual Blessing of the Animals service at 11 a.m. and Blessings on the Steps at 12:00 noon – wearing masks and distancing, of course. All souls are welcome!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy