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St. Clement, Boonville, Hosts Rogation Day Mass

Master of Ceremonies Matt Miller, Direcesan Direction of Worship, leads the opening procession. The Message photo by Tim Lilley

St. Clement Parish in Boonville hosted the Diocese of Evansville’s 2018 Roagation Mass on April 10. At the end of Mass, Bishop Joseph M. Siegel blessed seeds and soil for attendees from six counties – Dubois, Gibson, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick.


Bishop Siegel told those in attendance that the earliest mentions of Rogation Days dates to the 5th Century, when a bishop in Fance proclaimed a fast and sought prayers and litanies after failed harvests led to famine across a largest area. He explained that the litanies took the form of processions throughout parish boundaries as the faithful visited farms and prayed for protection of the crops. Such processions concluded with Mass.


At St. Clement Parish, the tradition of the prayerful processions continued as attendees gathered at the parish prayer garden for opening prayers, processing into St. Clement Church for Mass. At the conclusion of Mass, attendees gathered at the back of the sanctuary, where Bishop Siegel blessed bags of soil and seeds.


Attendees also took prayer booklets and small bottles of holy water for use in prayers at their own farms and homes. Following is one of the prayers, for seeds:


Lord of the harvest, you places the gifts of creation in our hands and called us to till the earth and make it fruitful. We ask your blessing as we prepare to place these seeds in the earth. May the care we show these seeds remind us of your tender love for your people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Growing up on a farm, Bishop Siegel said he learned that farming was a great life full of hard work. He encouraged attendees to trust in God during this and every growing season because so much that impacts their harvests is out of their control. The bishop suggested that this lesson of faith is something everyone should apply in all aspects of their lives because there is so much that we cannot control.


He added that farmers do their parts and recognize that God provides the miracles of sprouting seeds, growing crops and mature harvests.


Father John Boeglin, Diocesan Rural Life Director and pastor of Holy Family Parish in Jasper, joined Bishop Thompson and four other priests to concelebrate the Mass with Father Lowell Will, pastor of St. Clement Parish, and Father Tony Ernst, pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Fort Branch and Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Haubstadt.


At the end of  Mass, Father Boeglin announced that St. Bernard Parish in Snake Run would host the 2019 Rogation Mass.