Rural Life

The Rural Life Commission serves the mission of the Church by promoting the care of God's creation and the welfare of the people who depend on it.

Our Goals:

  • Foster the spiritual formation of the people relating specifically to the vocation of farming.
  • Promote an economic environment that sustains family farms and rural communities.
  • Be an effective voice in the public forum for Christian values on rural issues.
  • Educate people on the social teachings of the Church as they relate to rural issues.
  • Create a structure that sustains the Rural Life Commission. 

2018 Msgr. Weber Century Farm Award

1. Families eligible for this award must be the owner or operator of the land which has been in the same family for one hundred years or more and the family has not received this award previously.

2. Residents from the West Central Deanery of the Salina Diocese are encouraged to apply for the 2018 Annual Rural Life Day which will be held this year at the St Joseph’s Parish in Hays, 12 August 2018.

3. Applicants must be a practicing Catholic (at least one of the family members a practicing Catholic).

4. The entry form must be completed and returned to the Rural Life Commission Office, by August 1, 2018.  Click here for the form.

5. The award will be presented at the Annual Rural Life Day to be held on August 12, 2018 at St. St Joseph’s Parish, 210 W. 13th St., Hays, Kansas beginning at 3:00 pm. The recipient or a delegate of the family must be present to receive the award.

6. The recipients will be asked to introduce their family members present at the Annual Rural Life Day and make a few comments (five minutes or less) about their century farm. A written copy of the comments would be appreciated for the Rural Life Office Achieves and article for The Register.

7. All recipients will receive a plaque for meeting these requirements. Questions or comments about the Monsignor John George Weber Century Farm Award or the Annual Rural Life Day may be directed to the Salina Diocese Rural Life Office, C/O Sacred Heart Parish, 585 N. French Ave., Colby, KS 67701; Telephone: (785) 462-2179

Rural Life Commission welcomes new members.

New members on the Commission are Mr. & Mrs. Tom Murphy.  Tom Murphy grew up in Gorham and attended Fort Hays State University.  He spent 30 years in the livestock feed and production industry and the transferred to finance and eventually to computer support for John Deere.  Tom and his wife, Jo, are both active in their parish and interested in Catholic Rural Life.  

Recently appointed to the Commission was Ms. Justine Dlabal.  Ms. Dlabal is a member of St Wenceslaus parish in Wilson.  She grew up on a small farm near Wilson and was very active in FFA.  She served as the Kansas FFA Treasurer.  Following high school graduation, she attended Kansas State University and received a degree in Elementary Education.  She teaches 4th grade at Wilson Elementary School. 


New Officers for the Salina Diocese Catholic Rural Life Commission.

The Salina Diocese Catholic Rural Life Commission met in Hays on December 3rd for their regular quarterly meeting.

New officers were elected.  President, Tom Murphy, St. Joseph parish, Dorrance; Vice-President, Pete Lorenz, St John the Baptist parish, Beloit; Secretary, Fr. Brian Lager, Sacred Heart parish, Plainville; Treasurer, Janice Kruse, Sacred Heart parish, Seldon; Fr Richard Daise, Sacred Heart parish, Colby, is the Moderator for the Catholic Rural Life Commission.

Stepping down from President was Greg Stephens, Salina; and Nick Levendofsky, Belleville was the past secretary.

New president, Tom Murphy grew up in Gorham and attended Fort Hays State University.  He spent 30 years in the livestock feed and production industry and the transferred to finance and eventually to computer support for John Deere.

Tom and his wife, Jo, are both active in Catholic Rural Life.  "I have always felt that good Ag producers were the most environmentally conscious people and they're very connected to their God.  I look forward to finding ways for Catholic Rural Life to continue to help people of the Salina Diocese to continue to grow in their faith and appreciation of God in their daily farming activities."

Catholic Rural Life meets quarterly and hosts two different events throughout the Diocese each year:  On or near May 15th a St Isidore's Day Mass and blessing of the fields and flocks is held and a Rural Life Day is held on the second Sunday in August.  The Rural Life Day includes hearing the stories and recognizing farm families with a Monsignor Weber Century Farm Award for families who have farmed their land for at least 100 years.

Bishop Edward Weisenburger serves on the national board of the National Catholic Rural Life.

St. Isidore Day celebrated with blessing of seeds, fields, animals

Atwood — A crowd of 125 people gathered to witness the blessing of seeds, soil, livestock and fields May 16 in honor of St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers and rural communities. 
The day, sponsored by the Salina Diocese Rural Life Commission, was jointly sponsored by Sacred Heart Parish in Atwood, St. John Nepomucene Parish in Beardsley and Assumption of Mary Parish in Herndon.
  • St Isidore Days Blessing Steer belonging to Daisy Hawkins
  • the field blessing one
  • the goat blessing two
  • the goat blessing
  • bishop blessing
  • steer two
  • surefire five
  • surefire six
  • surefire ten
The day opened with Mass at Sacred Heart, with Bishop Edward Weisenburger presiding. During Mass, the bishop blessed soil samples from the fields and gardens, as well as seeds.
Following Mass and lunch, Daisy Hawkins’ 4-H steer was blessed by Father Richard Daise. Dogs owned by Karen Bolt were also blessed.
En route to the afternoon’s tour, the group stopped to bless a flock of dairy goats which began a few years ago as an FFA project belonging to Malory Horinek, as well as a  wheat field belonging to Dean Lankas.
The group toured Surefire Ag Industries, which was started about 10 years by three local residents of Atwood: Matt Walker Josh Walker, and Blain Gonzer. The home grown company develops the equipment, computer boards and software for application of fertilizer, chemicals and other processes for farm equipment. 
In addition they have adapted some of the equipment and computer controls to assisting in loading aircraft for aerial applications. They are a home owned industry with 16 percent of the ownership by the employees.


Name Rev. Richard Daise

Phone (785) 827-8746