Over 200 Wyoming farmers, ranchers and their family-members gathered for a special outdoor Mass on August 2. The event, which was co-sponsored by Catholic Rural Life and the Diocese of Cheyenne, took place at the Spiering Family Farm in Powell, Wyo.
Cheyenne’s Bishop Paul Etienne, who is the president of Catholic Rural Life, celebrated Mass and used his homily to emphasize the importance of giving gratitude to God for our land and livelihoods.
After a lunch of pork and beef, Executive Director Jim Ennis spoke about Pope Francis’ recent encyclical Laudato Si and its special message to those working in agriculture. Following his presentation, Ennis was able to talk to those gathered about the work of CRL; he said there was considerable interest in the lay leadership programs and the forthcoming Vocation of the Agricultural Leader initiative.
It was the first event of its kind in the Diocese of Cheyenne, but Ennis said it would be an annual celebration going forward. He was especially encouraged by the presence of young people and multiple generations of farmers and ranchers.
Overall, it was an opportunity to celebrate rural life and help farmers and ranchers understand how Church teaching applies to their distinct way of life.
“There was a gratefulness and appreciation from the rural community, and there was power in Bishop Etienne’s presence and celebrating the Eucharist on a farm,” said Ennis. “It was a joy to affirm the vocations of those who participate in agriculture and to bless their livelihoods.”
Diocesan rural life celebrations are a great way to honor the Church in the countryside, bringing together faith, food and family. Visit our events page to learn more about upcoming rural life celebrations, and if you’re interested in starting one in your diocese, please contact Peg Louiselle: firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-962-5955.
And check out our Facebook page for more pictures from this awesome event!