“Thumbs up!” was the response from one of the 200+ people who attended the Rural Life Mass at the Octagon Barn in Gagetown, Michigan

By Catholic Rural Life on June 1, 2023

Rural Outreach and Ministry

This article was written by Fr. Stephen Blaxton for the Diocese of Saginaw and shared with permission.

“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. 

Rural Life Mass with Rogation Day Procession at the Thumb Octagon Barn near Gagetown, Saturday, May 20, 2023. Photo by Jeff Schrier Bishop Robert Gruss leads the Rogation Day Procession before the Mass.

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 Streiff, 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 how to start your own chapter contact Tim Streiff at 651-444-8709 or tim@catholicrurallife.org


View the video below. It starts with photos of the Rogation Day procession and then the video of the Mass starts.

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