Rural Life Celebration coincides with feast of Corpus Christi

by Kristina Lahr | New Earth

An aerial view of the Osowski farm and the Rural Life Celebration on June 23.

Hopefully by the time this prints, we’ll have had a few more sunny days. As of June 23, the day of the Rural Life Celebration and the feast of Corpus Christi, the weather had been so cloudy and rainy, I’d yet to consider digging sunscreen out from the back of my closet. A little burn was well worth the unexpected sun.

The weather was perfect for the day, and it was difficult not to see God’s hand in it. As Bishop John Folda processed with the Blessed Sacrament among those faithful gathered following Mass, I was struck by how intimately Christ was with us, not just spiritually or as a nice idea but as physically present as any of us.

Bishop Folda processes with the Blessed Sacrament after Mass in celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi.

“When we look upon the Eucharist, we look upon Jesus, and when we receive the Eucharist, we receive Jesus, his Body and Blood, soul and divinity,” Bishop Folda said during his homily. “With our human eyes it seems so simple and ordinary, but by the grace of the Holy Spirit and with the eyes of faith, it is the most extraordinary gift we can receive.”

Adoring the Eucharist in a church or chapel is what I expect when I go to those places. A farm is different. Here people labored and children played. Here the land was sometimes burdened with floods and droughts and other times blessed with a vibrant green as far as the eye can see. And yet, here was Christ in the midst of all that had once happened here and what is to come.

Pauline and Hilladore Osowski started the farmstead in 1954, planting potatoes, wheat, barley, and even pinto beans. They built the house, planted trees, and raised five children. Throughout the years, they planted sugar beets and sunflowers as well.

“God’s been here all the time,” said Pauline, “helping us out and pulling us through difficult times. He’s never left us to be honest. Even today, I prayed for a good day and I said to my husband, ‘I can’t believe God heard me.’ It’s been such crazy weather for so long. I didn’t expect a day like this.”

Hosts Pauline and Hilladore Osowski welcome guests outside their home.

Bishop Folda blessed the soil that faithful brought from their farms, the nearby land and animals, celebrated Mass, and processed with the Blessed Sacrament in celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi. Following Mass, Brent Hermans provided entertainment on the piano, playing classic upbeat songs while those gathered enjoyed rest and fellowship.

“There is a spirituality of living and working in the country, and a closeness to God that is unique and beautiful,” said Bishop Folda. “In the silence of the country, which surrounds us today, we can hear the voice of God in our hearts. In our work on the land, we discover that we are partners with God in the work of creation. And with our own hands and the resources of the earth, we can feed the multitudes of the world. These are the little miracles of rural life.”

This was the second annual Rural Life Celebration. Last year, it was held at a farm near Harvey, and in the coming years will continue to move to different areas of the diocese.

This summer, while you enjoy the warmer temperatures, remember to spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Know that Jesus longs for you and is with you in all times and in all things. He desires intimacy with you no matter your education level, employment, status, or popularity. Be assured that the creator of all the prairies, lakes, trees, sunsets, and stars also created you with a purpose and desires great things for you wherever you are today.