Make this your home page

Letters to the Editor

Please type the number 5 below to submit

Sponsored Links

Bronxville Weather

°F | °C
invalid location provided
Pet Lovers Bring Pets to Blessing of Animals at Reformed Church PDF Print Email

By Ellen Edwards, Former Executive Editor, Penguin Random House

Oct. 5, 2016:  Playful dogs, a burrowing hamster, and a disappearing rabbit made the annual blessing of the animals at The Reformed Church of Bronxville a joyful event on Sunday afternoon, October 2. Gray skies did not dampen the high spirits of those gathered on the grassy square of the church cloister as Rev. Cari Pattison, Rev. Samuel  Clover, and Rev. Jonah Smith-Bartlett placed their hands on each pet and said words of praise and prayer. Owners received a certificate and a small medallion of St. Francis of Assisi.

Although the animals came to be blessed, their owners said they feel blessed by the joy their pets bring to their lives.

Susan Pink's female wheaten terrier, Crosby, age five, adds to the pleasure of coming home from work each day. “She’s at the back door, so happy to see you, greeting you with kisses,” Susan said. “She knows who walks and feeds her and loves her.”

Kristen Ridulfo said that her purebred pug, Idi, age 9, “makes me laugh, gives a lot of love.”  At 18 pounds, Idi has a black coat and a double-curled tail. To Kristen, Idi’s especially good behavior that day suggested that “she might know it’s a special event.”

David Walker and his wife, Dale, have had their beagle, Johnny Walker, for eight years, and they take turns exercising him.  According to David, “It's a great way to meet the neighbors.”  

Paul Muir’s golden doodle, Sadie, 13 months old, could barely contain her excitement at the chance to romp with the other dogs.  According to Paul and his friend, Jill, Sadie loves walking around Bronxville, eating ice cream, and swimming at Cove Beach in Stamford, CT.

Simon Ramsey and his daughter Angelina, age 10, said that their English springer spaniel, Winnie, is “always surrounded by a lot of kids” when she visits The Bronxville School.  She gets an hour of exercise a day, often in Scout Field, where she loves to dig a hole and jump in it.  Simon noted that “she’s very loving,” and Angelina added, “Even as a baby, she wouldn’t bite.”  Winnie and her twin were the only survivors of a litter of nine puppies, which makes her extra special to the Ramseys.

For Fatima Viegas, her tiny Yorkshire terrier, Pippin, is “like my son. He gives me so much joy.”  Pippin may have been the smallest dog there.  Joe Griffith’s giant schnauzer, Black Jack, a salt-and-pepper beauty of 100 pounds, might have been the biggest. 

Tiny white maltese Princess Diamond arrived with James Briggs Murray, but according to James, it was his daughter Nisha Alanya who insisted on getting the pet when she was a sophomore in high school, only to decamp to boarding school soon afterward. James attributes the dog’s longevity--she’s ten and a half-- to daily vitamins, a strictly organic diet, and a two-mile walk each day. Now that his daughter is a teacher in the Bronx, she considers Princess Diamond the family dog, while James still calls her “your dog.”

John DiDonato wasn’t able to be there, but his wife, Janet, proudly showed off their shiatzu, Mia, age 8, who sat up very straight in her arms and wore a knitted sweater. Janet called The Reformed Church “a very special place that has a special meaning for the three of us. It’s very loving and they welcome animals, which is amazing.”

Thomas Koester’s hamster, Lucy, who arrived in a blue and clear plastic carrying case, was his birthday gift about a year ago. His mother, Andre, said, “We have four boys and they can roughhouse and she’s very patient with it.” Lucy was so busy burrowing in her unfamiliar case, it took some effort to extract her for the blessing.

Rev. Sam Clover said the blessing of the animals often comes out of a Catholic or Episcopalian tradition.  According to Clover, former pastor Rev. Dr. Kenneth Ruge initiated this event at The Reformed Church of Bronxville, which is affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church. He may have been inspired by his former association with the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, where the annual blessing of the animals involves an elaborate procession of exotic mammals, reptiles, and birds.

In several traditions, the first Sunday in October is celebrated as St. Francis Sunday, which honors St. Francis of Assisi, the cleric from the late 12th and early 13th centuries who was known for his love of animals and nature.

As for that disappearing rabbit, it came and went before this reporter could get a glimpse. But several sources confirmed that a rabbit was present and did receive a blessing. 

Pictured here:  Angelina Ramsey, Jayleen Padilla, and Winnie (photo by Pat Drew); Paul Muir, Rev. Cari Pattison, and Sadie (photo by Jill Northrop); and Paul Muir and Sadie (photo by Jill Northrop).  


West Center Church to Hold Spring Tag Sale Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and May 6

News image

By Susan Reisinger, Moderator, Church Council, West Center Congregational Church May 2, 2018:  West Center Congregational Church, 101 Pondfield Road West at Chatfield Road, Bronxville, will hold a spring...

Read more

Houses of Worship Directory

Houses of Worship Directory

Christ Church Bronxville

Christ Church Bronxville, or "CCBNY" as it's known in the community, is the village's Episcopal church, whose beginnings date back to 1898. The current church, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was completed in 1926 and was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, who also designed St. Bartholomew's in New York City and the Chapel at West Point.

CCBNY offers a wide array of programs to its parishioners, who live throughout southern Westchester. The acclaimed music program boasts five choirs; international outreach efforts to Cuba; and education and service programs for family members of all ages. CCBNY is also home to the renowned children's music program Young at Arts (, and Eliza Corwin Frost (, a nursery school for children ages 1 to 5.

Our services are as follows:
8:00AM Rite I Spoken Eucharist
10:00AM Family Choral Eucharist
5:00PM Informal Eucharist

"No matter where you are on your spiritual journey there is a home for you at Christ Church. Our worship, music, education and outreach challenge us to embrace holiness and fearlessly share Christ's love."

The Rev. Michael A. Bird, Rector
17 Sagamore Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

First Baptist Church

The First Baptist Church was organized in 1854. Its mission is “to reach out as a caring and Christ centered Church to people of all culture and races, helping them to know God and find fellowship with each other through Jesus Christ to the glory of God.”

Sunday Services are at 11:00am from September to the second Sunday in June. Summer Services are Sunday at 10:00am

Rev. Lamont Granby
407 New Rochelle Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

Reformed Church of Bronxville

The Reformed Church of Bronxville is the community church in the heart of the village. We welcome people of all faiths and persuasions to be a part of our church family. We have exciting programs to meet your interests including music and the arts, service and outreach, children's ministry and a wonderful Nursery School.

Starting Sept. 7th, we have three Sunday services held at 8:30 am, 10:30 am and 5:00 pm. A Fellowship Coffee Hour is offered after the 10:30 am service. Childcare is available during our 10:30 am service along with Church School classes for children from 2 years old through the 8th grade.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Ruge, Senior Minister

Rev. Cari Pattison, Associate Minister

Rev. Samuel Clover, Assistant Minister

The Reformed Church
180 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

St. Joseph’s Church

St. Joseph Church, which opened its doors in 1925, is the Catholic Church in Bronxville. It offers services on Saturday, Sunday, weekdays and Holy Days. It offers a religious education program for K - 8th grade which takes place on Wednesday during the school year. It also offers a myriad of opportunities for parishioners to meet, share ideas and experiences and help others. The St. Joseph’s School offers classes for K – 8th grade.

Saturday Services: 5:00pm Sunday Services: 7:15am, 8:15am, 9:30am, 10:45am, 12:00 noon, 1:00pm, 5:00pm Weekday Services 6:45am, 8:00am, 9:00am, 12:00 noon Holy Day Services Vigil Mass 5:00pm 6:45am, 8:00am, 9:00am, 10:00am, 12:00 noon, 7:30pm Daily Morning Prayer: 8:45am

Father Peter McGreory

15 Cedar Street
Bronxville, New York 10708

Village Lutheran Church

The Village Lutheran Church “is a ministry of word and sacraments. This ministry gives opportunities for witness, nurture, fellowship, stewardship and service.” The Chapel School, which goes from pre-school three-year olds through 8th grade, is an integral part of the Church’s ministry for children.

Weekend services are on Saturday at 5:30 PM and Sunday at 9am and 10:45am.

Rev. Dr. Robert Hartwell
172 White Plains Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

West Center Congregational Church

West Center Congregational Church is a member of The United Church of Christ. It welcomes “all who seek to find, know and serve the living God better in all they are and do.”

Sunday services are at 11am, followed by a coffee hour at noon. During the Sunday service, they offer child care for infants and Christian education for elementary school children.

Rev. John M. Barrett
101 Pondfield Road West
Bronxville, New York 10708

 Sinai Free Synagogue

Sinai Free Synagogue is Westchester`s "newest" Reform congregation but its roots go back almost 100 years. Formed in 1999 by a merger of Mount Vernon`s Sinai Temple (founded in 1906 and the first Reform congregation in Westchester County) and the Free Synagogue of Westchester (founded in 1927), the 250-member congregation has a long, distinguished history.

Friday evening Shabbat services are held weekly. The Oneg following the service offers congregants and visitors an opportunity to linger and chat over coffee and desserts. Rabbi Barzilai conducts a Saturday morning service that meets every Saturday when there is no Bar or Bat Mitzvah. (The service follows Torah Study.) This service lasts one hour and is very participatory.  Services are also held on High Holy Days  Baby sitting is available during some of these services and there are special children`s services.

Please check the Calendar for dates and times.

Rabbi Barzilai is Sinai Free Synagogue`s spiritual leader.  Prior to the Sinai Free Synagogue, he served as rabbi at the Free Synagogue of Westchester, after having served as associate rabbi at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck.

550 North Columbus Avenue

Houses of Worship Recent Articles

Sign Up For Newsletter

MyhometownBroxnville reserves the right to monitor and remove all comments.  For more information on Posting Rules, please review our Rules and Terms of Use, both of which govern the use and access of this site.  Thank you.

The information presented here is for informational purposes only. While every effort has been made to present accurate information, myhometownBronxville, LLC, does not in any way accept responsibility for the accuracy of or consequences from the use of this information herein. We urge all users to independently confirm any information provided herein and consult with an appropriate professional concerning any material issue of fact or law. The views and opinions expressed by the writers, event organizers and advertisers do not necessarily represent those of myhometownBronxville, LLC, its officers, staff or contributors. The use of this website is governed by the Terms of Use . No portion of this publication may be reproduced or redistributed, either in whole or part, without the express written consent of the publisher.

Copyright © 2009, All rights reserved.