EVEN our furry friends are feeling the pinch of the pandemic with the annual St Francis of Assisi, blessing of the animals on October 4 unable to go ahead at churches this year.
But at least one Ballarat church is making sure our four-legged friends don't get forgotten about next month.
Cathedral Christ the King (Anglican Diocese of Ballarat) is running a fundraiser where all money raised will go towards the Ballarat Wildlife Park. The goal is to reach $1000 by October 5, the day after the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron Saint of animals.
Bishop Garry Weatherill said St Francis was known as having a relationship with creation, not just people.
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"He thought we needed to take created order seriously," Bishop Garry said.
"There were stories he had a wolf for a companion and he preached to birds. He believed the whole of creation mattered. It's a tradition on St Francis of Assisi day to remember creation, and traditionally it's done with a blessing of the animals
"Because we've closed down, we still thought we'd do something to celebrate feast of St Francis and so we're raising money to help to supply food for the Ballarat Wildlife Park. It was Father Martin Nadarajan's idea which we thought was a great opportunity."
While not discussing causation, Bishop Garry said he has a strong sense of what the pandemic has done to civilisation this year.
"I do have a strong sense that the stresses of the COVID time have amplified both good and bad things," he said.
"There are some that are kinder, more generous and have looked out for more vulnerable people but there are some people are feeling alone, rejected and uncared for.
"When a crisis happens, you either cave in or hang on and promote the values that matter and that's what we hope to see continue." The appeal hopes to raise $1000 and will be online until October 5, the day after the St Francis of Assisi feast day.
If you wish to donate, go to gofundme.com and search for St Francis Day Appeal.
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