1985 Aug 18 – 20th Sun Ord (Bulletin Letters)
Attached to this week’s bulletin is a copy of the Iowa Catholic Bishops joint statement on the Farm Crisis of September 1984. At the time of its release, Bishop Dingman was interviewed in the Des Moines Register (September 20, 1984) expressing his concern that the concentration of farm land in fewer and fewer hands is setting up the United States for a revolution not unlike what is happening in El Salvador. The Bishop said, “ We should not be willing to go in the direction of El Salvador. When you do, what is happening there will be happening here…our goal should be the wide spread ownership of the land. That is what made our country great.” The Bishop went on to say that the farm crisis is “a moral issue that should be addressed… It is sinful to let all those family farms go down the drain.” The Bishop said farmers have “to get their act together” and show concern for their neighbors who are having problems holding on to their land.
I want you to think about the above statement of Bishop Dingman’s and read and study the Iowa Bishops joint statement on the farm crisis. The Bishops’ statement will be the basis of discussions after the Rural Home/Farm Masses I am initiating for St. Anne’s and Holy Family parishes. I hope to schedule a Rural Home/Farm Mass at least once a week. These masses are open to everyone. We especially want rural folks from the surrounding neighborhoods of the host farm family to attend the services. Our service is open to Catholic and non-catholic folks alike.
The purpose of these Masses are two fold: 1) to let our rural people know the Church is with them and supports them in these troubled times; 2) to discuss the problems folks are finding themselves in and explore ways to act to change the structures that are driving our farm people off the land. We will be using the values expressed in the Iowa Bishops’ statement as the basis for our discussions.
The Masses will be scheduled a week ahead of time, usually on Wednesday or Friday, in the evening or at noon, depending on the host family’s preference. Be looking in the bulletin for each week’s time and place. Our first scheduled Rural Home/Farm Mass will be at the George and Betty Barry farm a couple of miles east of Pisgah on the road from Woodbine to Pisgah (F2OL) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday August 21. Come to pray and support your neighbors.