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At Home on the Farm: One Family's Spiritual Quest View Comments
By Carol Ann Morrow

(Left to right) Clare, Kyle, Clare, Eli and Cyndi Kramer, along with dogs Bella and Lulu, return to the family’s home after harvesting tomatoes.

GENESIS ORGANIC FARM’s precise location isn’t available by satellite today, farmer and author Kyle Kramer is pleased to report. Incredulous, I consult MapQuest. Beyond the interstate, its directions always hedge — “If you reach ... , you’ve gone too far.” Two state roads and three county roads later, I have avoided going “too far,” though some might wonder if the Kramers have by planting themselves in rural
southern Indiana and committing themselves to the complexities of living simply.

Kyle and Cyndi Kramer live with their three small children — 8-year-old twins Eva and Clare and 5-year-old Eli — in a home Kyle built largely by himself. They use solar power, a cistern and firewood they harvest from their woods. The Kramers grind their own grains, buying them in bulk.

Kyle later jokes that their wedding gifts included a grain mill and other practicalities seldom found on bridal registries! Their cozy home is furnished with substantial pieces that Kyle has crafted, complemented with hand-me-downs. Their home is airy and pleasant, even on a mid-August afternoon. Their dogs, Bella and Lulu, bark at me without menace. I sniff the promise of both bread and soup.

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Carol Ann Morrow, former St. Anthony Messenger staff member, is committed to staying put in Union, Ky., with her husband. Together, they are regenerating their small plot in the global village.

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Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions: Andrew Dung-Lac was one of 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951. All were canonized by St. John Paul II. 
<p>Christianity came to Vietnam (then three separate kingdoms) through the Portuguese. Jesuits opened the first permanent mission at Da Nang in 1615. They ministered to Japanese Catholics who had been driven from Japan. </p><p>The king of one of the kingdoms banned all foreign missionaries and tried to make all Vietnamese deny their faith by trampling on a crucifix. Like the priest-holes in Ireland during English persecution, many hiding places were offered in homes of the faithful. </p><p>Severe persecutions were again launched three times in the 19th century. During the six decades after 1820, between 100,000 and 300,000 Catholics were killed or subjected to great hardship. Foreign missionaries martyred in the first wave included priests of the Paris Mission Society, and Spanish Dominican priests and tertiaries. </p><p>Persecution broke out again in 1847 when the emperor suspected foreign missionaries and Vietnamese Christians of sympathizing with a rebellion led by of one of his sons. </p><p>The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862. That year a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics, but it did not stop all persecution. </p><p>By 1954 there were over a million and a half Catholics—about seven percent of the population—in the north. Buddhists represented about 60 percent. Persistent persecution forced some 670,000 Catholics to abandon lands, homes and possessions and flee to the south. In 1964, there were still 833,000 Catholics in the north, but many were in prison. In the south, Catholics were enjoying the first decade of religious freedom in centuries, their numbers swelled by refugees. </p><p>During the Vietnamese war, Catholics again suffered in the north, and again moved to the south in great numbers. Now the whole country is under Communist rule.</p> American Catholic Blog To replace our sins with virtues may seem like a daunting task, but fortunately we can follow the example of the saints who have 
successfully defeated these sins in their lifetimes. They provide us with a way forward so that we, too, can live holy, virtuous lives.

 
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