Many gather for spring farm blessing in Illinois despite April snow


WATERLOO, Ill. – In a garage, under tents and umbrellas, a crowd of around 125 gathered for a farm blessing from the new Bishop of Belleville to God the Father, while Mother Nature provided the snow flurries.

“God made all of the seasons, so we need them all, so we’re not surprised that it turned into cold weather but we need the rain and after the rain comes the sunshine,” Michael McGovern, Bishop of Belleville said. “Farmers seem to know how to work around the rain.”

Farm families and members of the 4H community from Waterloo and Gibault High School gathered under big snowy flakes Tuesday afternoon.

“This blessing is a very big deal,” Farmer Debbie Harbaugh said. “You know we are at the mercy of God and this weather we have today proves it. But like every other person around Hecker, we just move forward and make the best of what we have.”

Nine months into his new tenure as the Bishop of Belleville, Ill., the Most Reverend Michael McGovern provided a Blessing of the seed, the animals, and machinery for the Waterloo farm and to the nearby farmers in Monroe County.

Farmer Dale Haudrich said faith and farming go hand-in-hand.

“I guess because we put a lot of money and then put it into the crops and pray that mother nature is going to cooperate throughout the year,” Haudrich said. “Unfortunately it doesn’t always work our way but God is always there and takes care of us if we need that help.”

The farm is in just one of the twenty-eight counties McGovern is visiting this spring, offering farm blessings to begin hopefully a productive season even though we are seeing snow in April.

“We are right in the middle of go-hard planting season and get it in the ground and get something done, and now it’s snowing,” Dave Schumacher, AG & Farm Director at KTRS said. “Kind of appropriate I guess that happened this day to show the challenges the farmers are facing.”

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