Olive Oil from Long Meadow Ranch
Consecrated as Sacramental Oil For Santa Rosa Diocese
April 3, 2009, Rutherford, CA
Long Meadow Ranch announced today that its estate-grown organic olive oil was consecrated as sacramental oil by Bishop Daniel F. Walsh at the Cathedral of St. Eugene in Santa Rosa on Thursday, April 2.
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."
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. At the conclusion of the Mass, each parish receives a portion of the oil for its use during the coming year.
During the Mass, Bishop Walsh blessed 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.
"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 has been known as such since 1872 when it was established as an original "patent grant" ranch signed over by President Ulysses S. Grant. Owned by Ted, Laddie & Christopher Hall, Long Meadow Ranch employs an integrated organic farming system using sustainable methods.
Each part of the Ranch contributes to the health of the whole. Vineyards and wine making, olive orchards and olive oil making, cattle and horse breeding all work together in complementary fashion, as do the egg-laying poultry flock and the organic vegetable gardens.
All crops are certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers and are grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers.
Contact: Chris Hall
vox 707.963.4555 x151