August 7 – The Feast of the Assumption

In about a week, on August 15 we celebrate Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Normally this Feast is also a “Holy Day of Obligation,” which means we have the same duty to attend it as we do a regular Sunday Mass.

However, there is a Liturgical Rule that when it falls on a Monday it is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation. So, while we will still observe this Feast Day, there is not an obligation upon you all the lay faithful to attend.

That being said I do still encourage you to attend if you are able.

The Schedule of Masses for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be as follows:

Sunday, Aug. 14 at 5:30 p.m. SPANISH Mass in Hampton – This Mass also still fulfills one’s Sunday Obligation as well.

Monday, Aug. 15, at 6 p.m. ENGLISH Mass in Ackley – This Mass will replace the morning daily Mass we usually have in Ackley.


There is a tradition that on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption “produce of fields, gardens and orchards” – that is, grains, vegetables/herbs and fruit – may be blessed.

Where does this tradition come from?

First, of course with this Feast Day on August 15, it naturally falls during late summer, when people are bringing in produce from their gardens. You may have seen some stands recently set up selling sweet corn!

And in the biblical worldview, the people of Israel saw seasons of harvest as time to give praise and thanks to God. They also connected their harvest seasons to reflecting on the redemptive and saving work of God.

So too, people of Christian faith naturally made connections between the fruitfulness of the earth that gives us natural health and life, and the “fruitfulness” borne of the Virgin Mary that gives us divine and eternal life! And just as us being taken up to heaven is sometimes talked about as “God’s Harvest” so Mary’s bodily Assumption is seen as sort of the “first fruits” of God’s harvest.

As the Catholic priest, Fr. Pius Parsch in his book The Church’s Year of Grace explains:

“Now toward the end of the summer season, at a time when fruits are ripe in the gardens and fields, the Church celebrates the most glorious “harvest festival” in the Communion of Saints. Mary, the supremely blessed one among women, Mary, the most precious fruit which has ripened in the fields of God’s kingdom, is today taken into the granary of heaven.”

Therefore, on Sunday August 14 and on Monday August 15, at the end of those Masses I will offer this special Assumption blessing of produce. So, if anyone would like to bring produce from your garden (vegetables, herbs, fruits, grains) to Mass for a special blessing, you are encouraged to do so. (And, if no one brings any produce, I won’t bless any!).

Or if you would like your garden produce blessed on one of those two days, but can’t bring it to Mass, please reach out to me, and I can come to your home and bless your garden produce!


– Fr. Kevin