... the bird ... flew out of my hands into the Christmas tree.

Maryellen Sykes

Maryellen Sykes learned something surprising about her cat Tommy when she was trimming her Christmas tree last winter.

One of the most exceptional experiences I’ve had with Tommy actually happened this past Christmas. It was a cold winter night and I went out to move the week’s trash to the curb and when I returned I saw Tommy in the living room seated behind the living room door in a corner, just looking down. And after a few minutes I got curious and I went over and there was this bird, this spunky-looking little bird just sitting in the corner looking at Tommy and Tommy looking at the bird. It was very very peaceful – the two of them!

But I thought, my goodness! My Tommy could hurt this bird. So I grabbed a towel and I scooped up the bird. And I was so proud. I was just going to take him outside. But the bird became agitated in the towel, so I let it go and it flew out of my hands into the Christmas tree.

There it sat at the top of tree just looking down at Tommy. And Tommy just sat so beautifully, with kindness, just looking up at this little bird. He had no agitation to try to get him or act like a predator. He sat there so beautifully. And the bird seemed so calm.

So finally I thought, well I’ll open the window and the little bird will leave. So I opened the window by the tree, and sure enough he began to fly but not out the window. He flew over to a bookcase.

The little bird turned his head from side to side and was just trying to get a better look at Tommy to try to focus on him. And Tommy looked up and the two of them had such kindness. I can’t describe it in any other way.

That night several hours passed in that way. And finally when it was time to go to bed I took Tommy out and closed the door so he couldn’t scoot in there while I was asleep.

And the next morning when I awakened the bird was gone; he had flown out the window. And I just sat having my morning tea thinking what a beautiful Christmas experience that was. It was so ethereal – just to see the benevolence Tommy had for that little bird, and how safe the little bird seemed to feel with him.

Regular Sunday Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:15 a.m. worship.together (Eucharist for preschool families)
9:15 a.m. Parish Forum & Christian Education (Kairos)
10:30 a.m. Choral Eucharist

Other Days

Morning prayer is offered at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Mid-week Eucharist is offered at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Compline is offered at 7:00 p.m. on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, in the Church.

Choral Evensong is offered at 5:00 p.m. on 1st Sundays, Oct.-June, in the Church.

We would love to have you join us.


This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.

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