The Diocese of Belleville hosted its Annual Spring Blessing of the Farm on Tuesday, April 8th at Mr. and Mrs. Tom and Judy Beyers’ family farm. The Very Reverend John C. Iffert, Vicar Forane, presided over the blessing of seed and soil, animals, and farm machinery. Over 250 guests, including school children from St. Theresa Grade School, Salem and St. Mary Grade School, Mt. Vernon, attended the hour-long service.
The prayer service followed a path around the Beyer’s farm, stopping at stations along the way to say blessings and sing prayers for the productivity of the seed and soil, health of the animals, and safety of those who farm. Salem Mayor John Raymerwelcomed the crowd and brought two Oak tree saplings that are to be planted at the entrance of the future walking trail in Bryan Memorial Park for blessing. Father Robert Zwilling, St. Theresa of Avila church pastor and Diocese of Belleville Rural Life Coordinator, introduced Father Iffert and explained the blessing format.
After the blessing service, light refreshment was offered by the Beyers family and St. Elizabeth parishioners. The farm blessing is an annual event that is conducted at different farms throughout the Diocese of Belleville.