Fun on the farm

Categories: Around the Diocese

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Guests ride from the parking area to the celebration. Photos by Dianne Towalski / The Visitor

Mass, picnic highlight celebration on Morris farm

The Visitor

About 400 people attended the annual Diocesan Rural Life Celebration Aug. 23, at the farm of Craig and Joanie Murphy near Morris. The event, hosted by Assumption Parish in Morris, included Mass with Bishop Donald Kettler with music by the parish’s Renew Choir. A talk by Minnesota author Candice Simar and a picnic with music from The Mikko Cowdry band followed the Mass.

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Altar server Kelly Berlinger, 9, helped Bishop Kettler during the Mass by keeping the Missal open because of the wind.

In his homily, Bishop Kettler said there was no better way to celebrate God’s creation and the gift of human life. He also thanked worshipers for their witness to the Gospel call to serve others. “Service is your — and my — calling,” he said. “Your lives in the rural areas of Minnesota offer a real opportunity to answer God’s call to be servants for others — in your families, in your communities, in our diocese, our state, our country and our world.”

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Bishop Kettler visited with Molly, 4, and Leah Berlinger, 6, while Tom, (center, back to camera) and Natalie Caza listen with 4-year-old Howard.

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The Mikko Cowdry band provided entertainment during the lunch.

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Two-year-old Jax Kleespie found an old wagon wheel behind the Mass tent.

“Farmers and people that live in rural communities need to be affirmed and their vocations recognized in a special way and I think celebrations like this do exactly that,” said Peg Louiselle, director of development for Catholic Rural Life. “It’s great for the community. Everybody coming together is awesome. We build up one another and we build up rural communities.”

A special collection for the Rural Life Fund, a source of emergency funds for rural individuals and families in financial hardship developed by Catholic Charities and the Diocese of St. Cloud, was taken during the Mass and collected $1,200.