The Rural Solution: Modern Catholic Voices on Going

ISBN 13: 9780954563202
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It is from them that the most vigorous type of citizen comes, E. Hence it has always been the policy of enlightened statesmen to strengthen and stabilize the rural population. Such an understanding is beyond the comprehension of our leaders today. They allow our nation, with occasional ineffectual protestations, to slip ever more urban-ward.

Actually, they favour policies which exacerbate this problem.

From the point of view of food supply alone this is highly unstable. Cahill explains: It is comparatively easy to produce an industrial population or a professional class. But a perma18 Ibid, pp.

Communication Error Occurred.

Town dwellers can not, as a rule, be successfully transplanted into the country. A peasant population must be the result of a growth of generations. Man is most happy when he works when he can take pride in his work, when he knows that his work is both well done and socially or personally useful.

Thus many types of work can be fulfilling. Even the factory worker who mass-produces just one small piece of a much larger whole can take pride in his work, but it would be hard to imagine that it would approach that of a watchmaker carefully making an entire watch from scratch. One must also consider that what is massed-produced is often of poor quality and this may be totally independent of the intention of individual workers making interchangeable parts and is often more or less useless or frivolous or downright harmful, morally or otherwise.

Rural Solution, The: Modern Catholic Voices on going ‘Back to the Land’

Bishop Peter W. Bartholome explains: Out of the land, the body of man was fashioned, and on it man depends for his continued existence in this world. On the land depends the industry and commerce of the world. The land is basic to all the material activities of man. Through the land man is best able to work 19 Ibid, p. Cahill quotes Man and the Soil. And at the end of his life the body of man again returns and becomes identified with the land. Truly there seems to be no relationship of man with material things so intimate as that of man with the earth.

I know several such men myself. But can we readily imagine the autoworker who loves the spot welder, the steel worker who loves the coke oven, the factory worker who loves the punch press or injection molding machine, the electronics worker who loves the soldering iron, or the data entry technician who loves the keyboard?

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There may be such individuals, but they are certainly few and far between because, unlike farming, the nature of such work does not instill in the worker a love for his work. The Way Forward Leo XIII, in his encyclical on the conditions of the working class, Rerum Novarum, clearly lays out the problems afflicting the urban industrial worker. It is of supreme interest that the Pope stakes his highest hopes not on workers, organizations or decreased work hours or increased pay or Bishop Peter W. Bartholome, Sermon at St. Wherefore, the law ought to favour this right and so far as it can, see that the largest possible number among the masses of the population own property.

He continues: But if the productive activity of the multitude can be stimulated by the hope of acquiring some property in land, it will gradually come to pass that, with the difference between extreme wealth and extreme penury removed, one class will become neighbour to the other. Moreover, there will surely be a greater abundance of the things which the earth produces. For when men know that they are working on that which belongs to them, they work with far greater eagerness and diligence.

Nay, in a word, they learn to love the land cultivated by their own hands, whence they look not only for food but for some measure of abundance for themselves and their dependents. All can see how much this willing eagerness contributes to an abundance of produce and the wealth of the nation. Hence, in the third place, will flow the benefit that men can easily be kept from leaving the country in which they have been born and bred; for they would not exchange their native country for a foreign land if their native country furnished them sufficient means of living.

If we are serious Catholics, we will want to take to heart and seriously consider the recommendations of the Church concerning the tremendous benefits of living on the land. If you are a farmer or a rancher, you should meditate on the teachings of the Church.

Preface, Mass of Christ the King. When you realize the profound dignity of your work, you will have a great supernatural motivation to persevere even though materially things are difficult and often bleak. If you are a city or suburb dweller, you ought to consider leaving for a more wholesome life on the land.

The Rural Solution Modern Catholic Voices On Going

How can it be done? First, let it be known that we ought not reinvent the wheel nor repeat the mistakes of previous generations. Communal settlements and groups of families establishing rural lives together almost always fail.

Catholicism and the challenge of ecology

Neither should we go and buy our own farms. Patrick T. Farming is a tradition, a way of life, moreover a family way of life, handed down from father to son and from mother to daughter. What then are we to do? The Conference distinguished between a farm and a homestead. Whereas the farmstead is established upon an acreage sufficiently large to support the family through agricultural pursuits, the rural homestead is established upon a small acreage upon which the family dwells and from which the bread winner goes forth to the nearby place of occupation that he might earn the cash income for the family.

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Isbn I do not wish to minimize the importance of the family allowance plan. Rewards and punishments are so slow in catching up that we may escape them altogether, and it will seem that what we do has little significance one way or the other. They give 2 effects better in the rural solution modern catholic voices on going, 20 industries more own, and 30 shells more sufficient to earth and uncertainty combined to browser. One must not hesitate to make clear that rural life, due to the necessity of having a wife as a helpmate and children to work on the farm, curbs the use of artificial birth control, selfish bachelorism, and lifestyles of unnatural vice of which we are encouraged to be so tolerant. Besides — are the many obstacles that litter the road that returns to the land any more dangerous than those along the road that leads to the worship of Mammon, a road which wears down bodies, deadens minds, and ultimately kills souls?

Thus, by nature, it is highly diversified and labor-intensive. There is plenty of work for children. A typical homestead would have a large garden, a few pigs, perhaps a march cow or dairy goats, some sheep, certainly chickens, fruit trees, and whatever else the family found that they could practically and profitably raise for themselves. Often such homesteads would develop one or more sideline businesses such as selling eggs to neighbours or strawberries to passers-by.

There are still today books in print originally published over 50 years ago that are excellent starting points for the aspiring homesteader such as The Have More Plan, Five Acres and Independence, and Ten Acres Enough. The rural homestead is practical for any family with a will to do it. It is a learn-as-you-go situation and one would be free to expand it at his own pace. Most importantly, it enables the family and the individual to reap nearly all of the supernatural benefits pointed out above that result from life on the land.

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Of course these benefits would be in proportion to the seriousness of the homestead operation and the will of the family to reap the benefits. The Better Life by Willis D. Nutting Men of heroic character can live a Christian life under any social conditions. Consequently there has been no age so dark as to lack its saints.

Rural Solution

But there is no doubt that some environments are better than others for the development of sanctity, and that the Church is concerned with bringing about an environmental situation in which unheroic ordinary people are helped rather than hindered in their attempt to live holily. Otherwise an encyclical on the reconstruction of the social order would be beside the point.

In a social order in which injustice abounds and in which many persons are the victims of exploitation, two tasks face the Christian community. The most obvious thing to be done is to take up the cause of the victims of society — to bind up the broken, to curb the power of the oppressor, to live with the down-trodden and to take Christ to them. In this task there is opportunity for the greatest devotion and self-sacrifice, and for the calling forth of the heroic element in man. But this is not the only thing to be done.

The Christian community must also take thought in the matter of creating a social order which is more in keeping with the Christian ideal. Human persons being limited in their abilities, it is to be expected that some Christians will con- 50 The Rural Solution centrate their attention on one of these tasks, some on the other; and since we most of us see rather narrowly, it is unfortunately true that we are somewhat inclined to disparage the task that does not occupy our interest.


The Rural Solution: Modern Catholic Voices on Going “Back to the Land” Paperback – April 1, The essays by Peter Chojnowski and Christopher McCann were both solid. Richard Williamson is listed as a "bishop of the Catholic Church". The Rural Solution: Modern Catholic Voices on Going Back to the Land by Mgr. Richard Williamson () [Mgr. Richard Williamson;Dr. Peter.

I am simply occupied with another task, one which I believe to be equally important if not as obviously urgent. When a person is responsible for a family, indeed, the urgency is the other way, and the seeking of the best possible living conditions becomes the obvious primary responsibility. A ten-thousand-acre wheat farm, for instance, owned by a corporation whose members live in Chicago, run by an expert manager who is there only in season, and having its work done by transient labor — such an institution is merely an outdoor factory and carries with it the evils of the factory system unrelieved by legislation.

For our purposes, rural living means life centered in a country home where at least some of the processes traditionally associated with agriculture are carried out. What are the opportunities in this type of living which make it, we believe, the best environment for people to live in? Since the values directly associated with the family are being treated elsewhere, we will deal with the spiritual values offered by rural living in the spheres of work, association, appreciation, and responsibility.

One of the most dismal things about the truly urban man is that he does not understand work, for he has not experienced it. Of course he knows physical exhaustion and mental drudgery; he has nervous breakdowns and high blood pressure, and he dies of coronary thrombosis — but all these things happen to him not because he works but because he does not work.

This requires explanation. For real work to be done several elements must necessarily be present: 1 the mind conceives something to be done; 2 the hand, aided by tools, carries out the conception through the manipulation of certain 3 raw materials. The result is 4 a new creation, either something made, or some change brought about in the physical situation. When a man presides in this whole process — when his mind and hand work together, using his tools and his materials, to produce something which, when it is produced, is his, then he is really working.

And this 52 The Rural Solution work is one of the greatest things man can do, both in the way of education and of satisfaction, for in it he is realizing a part of his likeness to God.