The Lampedusa Cross is continuing its journey across the Archdiocese of Cardiff and for the past fortnight has been hosted at St Helen’s in Caerphilly.
One of our loyal volunteers, Berenice Williams, was on hand to help with the CAFOD display which is accompanying the Lampedusa Cross and which draws on some of Pope Francis’ teachings about Welcoming the Stranger, especially during this Holy Year of Mercy.
“We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees… are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved.” Pope Francis
The feast of St Rock was celebrated at St Helen’s, Caerphilly on August 16th with Fr John Kelly’s congregation boosted by the addition of much-loved pets that had accompanied their owners to Mass.
I first noticed a small dog sitting next to its owner at the front of the church. ~This was the very first time I had seen a dog attending Mass – but no-one seemed to be at all surprised by the dog’s intermittent requests for attention.
As Mass progressed I realised that that there were quite a few more dogs dotted about the pews, but I still had no idea that the parish was celebrating the feast day of the patron saint of dogs – St Rock.
Man’s (and woman’s) best friends received a special blessing at the end of the celebration. It really was lovely.
More of why I was at visiting the parish later, but it was a wonderful introduction to St Rock, who must have a special place in any dog owner’s heart.