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National novena for farmers to be livestreamed this month

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CNA Staff, May 5, 2020 / 11:34 am MT (CNA).- A national novena to St Isidore the Farmer will be livestreamed by Catholic Rural Life this month, beginning May 7 and concluding with a Mass on May 15, the feast of St. Isidore.

For nearly a century, Catholic Rural Life has been supporting Catholic communities in rural areas. The group hosts the Novena to St. Isidore each year.

“Due to the challenges of the current pandemic, we decided to offer the novena virtually this year,” the organization explained. “Each day a Bishop from our Board of Directors will lead us through the novena, lifting up all the intentions of rural communities throughout our country.”

The four bishops on the board of directors are Bishop Brendan Cahill of Victoria, Texas; Bishop Robert Gruss of Saginaw, Michigan; Bishop John Folda of Fargo, N.D.; and Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City, Missouri.

“We really do believe we need God’s intervention in this as well,” said Jim Ennis, executive director of Catholic Rural Life, according to The Catholic Spirit. “We recognize this (pandemic) is causing a lot havoc in a lot of families.”

Farmers have been among the many groups affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With many restaurants, schools, and farmers markets across America closed indefinitely, farmers are now seeing a decline in demand that compounds the often difficult situations they already face from thin margins, low prices, and difficult weather conditions.

St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers, was born in Spain in 1070. He worked on a local farm and lived a life of simplicity, prayer, and faith. He died in 1130.

More information on the Catholic Rural Life novena, as well as a printable copy of the novena prayers, can be found on the group’s website. Each day’s prayers will be livestreamed at facebook.com/catholicrurallife.

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