Faith & Farming

While attending a party at the church hall, where CCD classes take place, I came across this on one of class bulletin boards.

By Heather Hetterick

I don’t live inside what’s referred to as God’s country or the “Land of Seven Steeples” (Darke & Mercer Co.), I do live on the outskirts, though (Shelby Co.).

Therefore it was no surprise that in this week’s church bulletin was the announcement of the annual farm mass. I believe it rotates around the area and this year will be held May 10, at 6:30 pm at Lehman High School in Sidney. It’s a program of  Catholic Social Action, which is a division of the Cincinnati Archdiocese.

In years past I’ve heard of these masses taking place on farms. In fact I see that even the Archbishop himself presided over one of these. Can you image the Archbishop coming to your farm? I bet those people had really good crops that year.

This reminded me of the time a mere 20 years ago when our priest came to my family’s farm. It was my sister’s first communion and we invited Father O’Conner over after mass for her party. Being a farm boy himself and often referring to the farm and animals in his sermons, we always enjoyed visiting with him. Father asked for a farm tour. So, when the party wound down and it was feeding time, we took father through our hog buildings.

Yes, he was in his white collar and we took him through all the hog buildings.

No, he did not smell good.

That’s when I got the idea…I had a pretty good steer that year  for the fair. I was doing everything in my power to make him a champion, but if I could get the higher powers involved, that would certainly help.

So, I pulled dad aside and said, “Dad, do you think it would be alright if I asked Father O’Conner to bless my steer? You know, so that it would do well at the fair?”

Dad replied, “absolutely not.”

It was worth a shot right?

Plus, as my brother once told my mom, our steers were Lutheran. My mom asked why. He told her because the radio we kept on in the steer barn was always tuned to T102, which each Sunday morning aired the local Lutheran church service. The steers were ‘attending’ that service and therefore were Lutheran.

In that case I guess all the pigs in the farrowing house are Lutheran too.

So while the growing season is just beginning and everyone is focusing on managing risk and controlling inputs, don’t forget how much you’ve already been blessed. In the end we all know having a successful year really just comes down to luck and faith….

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