"Thumbs up!" was the response from one of the 200+ people who attended the Rural Life Mass at the Octagon Barn in Gagetown on Saturday, May 20th. In his homily, Bishop Gruss spoke about the great dignity of people who live and work in rural communities so closed tied to the earth and God's providence. Describing several of the miraculous events in the life of the patron saint of farmers, St. Isidore, Bishop Gruss encouraged attendees to appeal to him as an intercessor for their needs, and as a guide for living a holy life as rural people.
Preceding the special Mass asking for God's blessing upon the growing season for area farmers was a Rogation Day procession. From the Latin rogare which means to ask, plead, or beg; Rogation Days were observed on the three days leading up to the feast of the Ascension in the Church's previous liturgical calendar. The Rogation Day procession at the Rural Life Mass was an organic expression of local Catholics' faith in praying for God's blessing and bounty upon the land and for the well-being of the entire community so closely tied to agriculture.
Following the Mass the Knights of Columbus sponsored a lunch which included a talk by Tim Streif, program director of the national organization Catholic Rural Life.
Holy Family Parish in Sandusky, MI is the first chapter of Catholic Rural Life in the State of Michigan. For more information about the organization and how to start your own chapter, go to www.catholicrurallife.org.