During the 1980’s, St. Mark’s had its own church cat – aptly named Magnificat. Some remember Magnificat as a large, fluffy gray cat. Others remember him as more black with white markings. Perhaps he was dark gray, but regardless of what color he was, he is remembered by all as somewhat imperious and not particularly friendly!
No one remembers where he came from – probably a stray who adopted St. Mark’s. What people do remember is that he made himself at home and had the run of the place. He had his own food and water in the office and was frequently found napping in the sunshine on top of the altar in the main church. He strolled around during work days. One of the altar guild ladies said Magnificat often scared her by hiding behind the curtains in the church office (where he also left behind lots of fur)! David and Maureen Kennedy recall Magnificat wandering through the Church during services, including right down the center aisle.
Pat Jenkins recalls one time she had Altar Guild in the Chapel during a memorial service conducted by then Rector, Joe Doss. Magnificat was on the premises. Another cat had somehow gotten into the Chapel and was up on the balcony squaring off with Magnificat. The two cats started to spit at each other and were headed for a fight. The memorial service was underway, so there was nothing for Pat to do but try to manage the situation. She had a big skirt on and tried to use it to trap the two cats. When that didn’t work, she cornered the two angry cats in one of the little rooms that overlooked the balcony – and then had to sit on the steps and guard the two cats to prevent them from descending and interrupting until the memorial service was over!
This beautiful line drawing of Magnificat was by Nancy Sears and was used in many of church publications during Magnificat’s time as the official church cat. If anyone has an actual photo of Magnificat or more stories about him to share, let us know!