Olive Oil from Long Meadow Ranch To be
Consecrated as Sacramental Oil For Santa Rosa Diocese
March 8, 2005, Rutherford, CA
Long Meadow Ranch announced today that its estate-grown organic olive oil will be consecrated as sacramental oil by Bishop Daniel F. Walsh at the Cathedral of St. Eugene in Santa Rosa on Wednesday, March 9, at 4:30 PM.
The Rite of the Blessing of Oils and the Rite of Consecrating the Chrism are an annual service held throughout the Catholic Church. Bishops have blessed olive oil ever since the early church during this Lenten service, which is also known as the Mass of Chrism. For the past three years, Bishop Walsh and the Diocese of Santa Rosa have chosen to consecrate olive oil from Long Meadow Ranch.
The priests in all 42 parishes and 22 missions that make up the Diocese of Santa Rosa will use the sacramental oil throughout the coming year. The Diocese of Santa Rosa includes a Catholic population of about 150,000 people in the counties of Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt and Del Norte."We are truly honored to be asked to provide this oil to the Church," said owner Ted Hall. "We are moved by the notion that our olive oil will directly touch the lives of so many people in our community in a small - but significant - way."
During the Mass, Bishop Walsh will bless three oils: the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick, and the oil of chrism. The first is used for adult catechumens and infants, the second for anointing the sick, and the sacred oil of chrism for baptism, confirmation, the ordination of priests, and the consecration of altars. All three are basically olive oil, but the chrism oil has added the scent of a perfume, traditionally balsam.
For more than one thousand years, bishops have blessed the oils at their cathedrals as part of the Holy Thursday liturgy. Today the Mass of Chrism is celebrated on a different day shortly before Holy Thursday to give the celebration more prominence.
Since the bishop is the only minister in a diocese who may consecrate chrism, the Mass of Chrism highlights his personal ministry and his unity with the priests and deacons serving in the diocese. Although Bishop Walsh will not personally baptize and confirm everyone in the parishes of the diocese, he will be symbolically present through the chrism which the priests and deacons will use.
In recent years, Bishop Walsh has also acknowledged the ministry of priests during the Mass and has invited them to renew their commitment of service and to receive the prayers and support of the people. At the conclusion of the Mass, each parish will receive a portion of the oil for its use during the coming year.
"Our olive orchards are believed to be the oldest in Napa County, with the original cuttings coming aboard ship from the Mediterranean region around the Horn. The opportunity to provide continuity to a centuries-old sacred tradition and to be recognized for the integrity of our traditional, sustainable approach to farming is truly an honor for our team at Long Meadow Ranch," concluded Hall.
Long Meadow Ranch is an innovative organic farming operation - and purveyor of fine food - located high above the Napa Valley on the picturesque slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains where it produces extraordinary red wine, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed beef, eggs, and heirloom fruits and vegetables for Napa Valley's finest restaurants. Long Meadow Ranch produces ultra premium wines and extra virgin olive oils, under the Long Meadow Ranch Winery, Ranch House Red, Prato Lungo, and Napa Valley Select labels. Beyond the Napa Valley, Long Meadow Ranch wines and olive oil have been regularly featured by America's top chefs.
Long Meadow Ranch has been known as such since 1872 when it was established as an original "patent grant" ranch signed over by President Ulysses S. Grant. Having been home to a variety of uses during its long history, Long Meadow Ranch continues to grow and prosper through Ted, Laddie and Christopher Hall's stewardship.
The Halls continue to restore and preserve Napa Valley's oldest olive groves, as well as add new plantings of olive trees and vineyards. They have also brought cattle, poultry, and vegetables back into commercial production. Appaloosa horse breeding, along with an extensive composting operation, round out the integrated farming activities at the Ranch.
"Excellence through Responsible Farming" is the motto of Long Meadow Ranch, bolstered by the belief that world-class products can be produced using sustainable, organic farming methods. Long Meadow Ranch does not use herbicides or pesticides and its products are organically grown and certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers.
Contact: Chris Hall