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Archbishop celebrates Rural-Urban Mass on farm (Photo Gallery)

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Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, right, walks along the property of Ryan and Krista Schmitmeyer’s farm on State Route 242. (CT Photo/Jeff Unroe)

Press Release

A young farm family outside Versailles welcomed Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, as well as Catholics from the St. Marys and Sidney Deaneries to this year’s Rural-Urban Mass, which took place Thursday, June 20.

The Archbishop said Mass on the large wrap around porch at Ryan and Krista Schmitmeyer’s farm on State Route 242. The hosting parish is St. Denis in Versailles. Individuals attending the Mass brought lawn chairs to sit on the lawn around the porch.

At Mass Archbishop Schnurr presented Catholic Century Farm Awards to Catholic farm families who have applied for admission to the Catholic Century Farm Registry for the Sidney and St. Marys Deaneries. The award recognizes Catholic families who have continuously farmed the same land for 100 years or more.

The Archbishop also blessed soil and water that was distributed after Mass.

The annual Rural-Urban Mass is an opportunity for farmers and the people who share in the benefits of an agricultural community to come together in a prayerful way to praise God for the blessings of faith, farm and family.

The Catholic Rural Life Conference of the St. Marys and Sidney Deaneries plans the Rural-Urban Mass, alternating it between the two deaneries, said Vern Seger, Chair of the local Catholic Rural Life Conference.

The Catholic Rural Life Conference serves Catholics who directly work in agriculture or live in communities supported by agriculture. The Catholic Rural Life Conference of the St. Marys and Sidney Deaneries also has offered Rural Plunges to university and junior high school students in addition to the Rural-Urban Mass.

The local conference meets in January, March, May, September and November on the second Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Charles Senior Living Community, 2860 U.S. Route 127, Celina. Call Pam Long, Regional Director of the Catholic Social Action Office, for more information, 937-224-3026, or email plong@catholiccincinnati.org.

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