Denise Fedorow
Freelance Writer
May 31, 2023 // Diocese

Blessing of the Blossoms

Denise Fedorow
Freelance Writer

Parochial Vicar of St. John the Evangelist parish in Goshen, Father Logan Parrish, gave a blessing of the blossoms at Kercher’s Sunrise Orchards on Sunday, May 7. The orchard is owned by parishioners Tom and Maureen Kercher, along with Tom’s sister Janet and her husband Steve Dudley.

The family business celebrated its centennial last year and Tom and Maureen’s children, Bill, Mollie, and Laura are all involved as the 5th generation of Kerchers. The orchard has more than 600 acres of different apple varieties as well as sweet corn, pumpkins, squash, cabbage, broccoli, and peaches.

Photos by Denise Federow
St. John the Evangelist Parochial Vicar Father Logan Parrish offers prayers and scripture readings prior to blessing the blossoms of the apple orchard in Goshen owned by parishioners Tom and Maureen Kercher on Sunday, May 7. Father Parrish was assisted by members of the 6th generation of the family, Max Kieffer (holding the book) and Andrew Kercher.

The weather cooperated for the blessing of the blossoms, which the Kerchers said hadn’t been done for many years. The Kercher’s children, grandchildren, and approximately a half dozen parishioners and their families accompanied Father Parrish out to the orchard where the apple trees were in full bloom.

Father Parrish began with a prayer saying, “You have given us the earth to cultivate so that we may gather its fruit and sustain life.”

He went on to a reading from Genesis where the Lord said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation, every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. And so, it happened.”

He continued, “God also said, ‘See I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food.’”

Father Parrish then went on to offer prayers including, “You have told us that Christ is the vine and we are the branches. Grant that by living in your Son, we may produce much good fruit.”

The group then prayed The Lord’s Prayer together.

St. John the Evangelist Parochial Vicar Father Logan Parrish visits with children of the parish, many of whom are grandchildren of Tom and Maureen Kercher, as well as members of the Gerwels and Woodiel families, who came out for the blessing of the blossoms at Kercher’s Sunrise Orchards.

Father Parrish continued, “Oh Holy Lord and Father, you commanded us to work the land and to cultivate it. Your holy people pray that you’ll grant us an abundant harvest from our fields, vineyards, and orchards. In your goodness protect the land and the crops from winds and hail and let a rich crop grow from the seeds we plant. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.”

Father Parrish then blessed the blossoms on several of the apple trees by sprinkling them with holy water.

Maureen Kercher then invited everyone for refreshments of apple cider and cookies in their pavilion.

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