Should Catholics Return to the Land? by Greg Cook

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[Image: “The Angelus” by Jean-François Millet]

Is the Catholic Land Movement a legitimate approach to rediscovering God’s gracious gifts, or is it just another lifestyle choice option for the post-modern-minded?

By Greg Cook, Crisis Magazine, May 4, 2023

Greg Cook is a writer living with his wife in New York’s North Country. He earned two master’s degrees, including one in public administration from The Evergreen State College. He is the author of two poetry collections: Against the Alchemists, and A Verse Companion to Romano Guardini’s ‘Sacred Signs’.


Greg Cook

Many of us who live in rural parts of the U.S. have witnessed discouraging trends in recent decades: the increase in the size of farming and ranching operations; the destruction of small-town life; depopulation; a growing disregard for natural beauty; and the erosion of the work ethic. Those corrosive trends add up to the dissolution of a cohesive society. Human connection, human scale, and human aspirations are all snatched away by inhuman forces.

We rural dwellers have seen efforts to counteract the spreading dissolution. I recall hippies “going back to the land” but not lasting long. Even when the Age of Aquarius vanguard successfully settled in rural places, it brought along its anti-traditional values. (Exhibit A: Vermont.) And successive waves of progressive voters have built on the hippie foundations and attempted to dismantle all the offensive parts of rural culture anathema to the post-modernists. …

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