Monastery, Moscow patriarchate, eparchy of Kaluga region, Russia

Mr. James Hogan’s sorrows and joys

Posted by kinovia on October 15, 2013

Печали и радости Джеймса Хогана
This September our Convent was visited by English guests.  The purpose of the visit turned out to be very unusual –  our dear guests would like to check and confirm that there’s really Convent in Russia that gives shelter to abandoned cats.  Mr. James Hogan- Head of the Mayhew Animal Home and Ministry of Culture employee initiated the visit. This incredible man was born in out-of-the way Irish village 68 years ago.  He was growing up in the atmosphere of love and understanding, his mother was involved in charity and animal protection. So mr. Hogan animal rights activity is devoted to his Mom.

It’s a well known fact that Englishmen like animals. In 1824, the UK Royal Society of Animal rights Protection was established under the personal supervision of her Royal Highness Queen Victoria. The members of  Royal family are still in charge of that Society. In 2006 English Government approved new version of the Animal rights Law and made it more serious for animal owners. Earlier, in accordance with the Law, to go to court with case of violation of animal rights should be only if  presented the formal records of cruelty. New version allows to go to the court if the possibility of danger for the animal exists. For violation of animal rights and cruelty one should pay up to 20  thousands pounds or go to jail.

The dwellers of the Animal shelters are strictly  prohibited by the State, even if the shelter is private. In accordance with the Law, abandoned animal enters the shelter for 7 days and after should be adopted. The stuff of the shelter starts searching a new home for a freshman since the first day. Possible owner is supposed to fill the form, which consists of 40 questions.  Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, when wishing to adopt a dog, answered all these questions. But the stuff of the Shelter decided that due to her busy schedule, she would be unable to pay proper attention to the dog, so Baroness Thatcher was suggested to adopt a cat. She came to the shelter and choose her cat among six abandoned. So after paying 60 pounds and examining her apartment, mrs. Thatcher became a cat owner. The fact that Mrs. Thatcher did not adopt pedigree animal was not a surprise for the nation, cause for Englishmen is obvious that priority should be given to abandoned animals. Every city and every County has animal shelter, ment for cats, dogs, rabbits, horses etc.

While scrolling internet sites, James was really upset of the situation with animal rights in Russia. Alas he is right – the situation with dogs and cats are miserable. Huge amount of abandoned animals and little quantity of shelters.  After he knew of Baryatino, James organized fund raising for our Convent among the visitors of st.Martin church, who came to the Service devoted to the Memory of Franciscus Assisiensis.  This is the only day during the year when animals are allowed to Service and even can get Blessing. The old priest Graham Noice was holding a service and all the animals, judging by the photos, were sittin’ all around and even one Labrador just in the middle of the church.

This year James participated in London running marathon  and also gathered donations. He converted donated pounds to Russian currency and brought it to us with other souvenirs. He spent with us 2 days asking us of everything, looking at posing cats, seeing our caws and goats eating grass, chickens pecking the grains. Our guests visited every tiny corner where our adopted animals live.

We wanted so much our guests hearts and souls get warmed of Orthodoxy and love for our country. We showed the Church, the garden, farmyard. Our guests tasted our farmyard products-curd, milk and honey. We share dinners and admired the views  of our divine nature. James noted that it reminded him England but without hills and his translator Patricia admitted that there were no strong wind if compare with England. But it was raining all the day – just like at their home. By the way,  James noted the portrait of, how he expressed it, “Great Lady” – his favorite Great Duchess Elisabeth. He always has her photo near the heart. And we told him of Agatha Christie  –  what a great believer she was.

October the 12th another Service is set to be held in the same Church with all the good animals, accompanied with the owners and the priest-reverand Graham Noice will announce that Service is devoted to the Orthodox nuns from Baryatino, Kaluga city district. (please see the photo)

We told our guest that many attracted to abandoned cats people spend their time to come to Convent,  help us with money, bring cat food and pills. Some of them are not churching and even far from Faith. But making good things- it’s a first step to the Faith for them so it turns out that our animals are the missioners in a way.  We have good relationship with Kaluga veterinary clinic and the Head of the clinic comes to Services and the number of people she brings with her increasing every time she comes.

James Hogan demonstrated pictures with English abandonded animals. In their touching and poor view they looks alike with our foundlings. Not long after looking bright and shiny they enter their new home. James was really happy that we understand his efforts in Animal Center. We are very grateful to  him for kindness and care and he returned the same words to us and added that he was expected to see a lot of good things in Our Convent but what he seen was far more that he expected. Thank you James.


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