Tucked away among the underbrush bordering the bayou, sitting under the shade of scrub pines and pin oaks, sits a small, unassuming chapel.
Shuttered doors open into the one-room sanctuary. A lone crude wooden pew faces a small lectern, adorned with a simply cross and a tarnished chalice. Folk art murals depicting the wildlife of the bayou cover every wall.
A many-paned window behind the altar, offers the only light into the room.
It’s quiet. Faint croaks of frogs and the far off cry of herons diving for dinner provide the background music for parishioners contemplating their loss.
Dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, a cluttered cemetery spreads out along the east side of the chapel. Hand-crafted monuments to adored animals are tucked among the pine needles and tall grass.
Here lies the final resting place for dozens of God’s creatures. Loved and cherished in death as in life.
There is a sweet spirit around this place. A lingering feeling of the joy these pets brought to their families, and a sadness at their passing.
This is a place where you can envision a family would come to romp through the woods and splash along the shore of the bayou, children laughing and dogs baying.
Our pets, each of them, is a treasured part of our family. Deserving of respect and thoughtfulness in life as well as death. Here, in this hidden oasis, these pets rest in peace and comfort.
“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans”
~ James Herriot