The mission of Holy Family Farm is to help young men discover who they are in the person of Jesus Christ. Our program of prayer, manual work and learning forms young men in the Christian life, and develops a deep awareness and confidence in their God-given identity and purpose.
“Human formation. It is the greatest poverty of this generation. ”
- Dr. Greg Bottaro
Formation is the action of the Holy Spirit shaping the mind, heart and soul for Christian life. Our farm-based formation program ("Farmation") is inspired by the Holy Family of Nazareth and grounded in centuries of proven Franciscan experience. Men are formed through the beauty of God's creation - the soil and pastures, animals and wood, air and water, compost and vegetables, communities and families, and the rhythms of sacred life. Through daily prayer, manual labor and learning alongside experienced mentors, men will come to know Jesus Christ and manfully embrace their God-given vocation.
Formation on Holy Family Farm is the perfect opportunity a young man needs but cannot get from modern society. Here, he will come to know the great gift of nature, a job well done and authentic living. Men will learn timeless truths from Scripture and the great books, as well as practical skills from raising plants and livestock. Far more important than our organic tomatoes or grass-fed beef, Holy Family Farm aspires to produce virtuous men that go on to shine the light of Christ into a world so desperate for strong husbands, fathers, clergy and religious.
What To Expect
The recommended stay of a resident is one year, however, the length of time will vary according to the personal needs and goals of the individual.
Weekdays will start early with communal prayer and common meals, followed by a full day's work in the pastures, gardens and natural beauty of the property. Afternoons conclude with Mass, dinner and outdoor recreation or quiet reflection. Evenings will be slated for round table instruction, discussion, and relaxing time together. Sundays are days of recreation and hospitality with neighbors, volunteers and visitors to the farm.
Our annual schedule is seasonal and liturgical: at the service of the Holy Eucharist. Residents will live in sync with the natural world and the feasts of the Church. We believe that such devotional rather than secular timing is not some dusty worn-out tradition, but is rather the proper way to prepare men for a life in service to God.
In addition to a full-time program director and our Chaplain, we will have a robust associate and volunteer program. Faithful Catholic mentors will regularly instruct the men in a wide variety of areas, from woodworking, animal husbandry and basic mechanics to budgeting and managing a business. We hope that Holy Family Farm will be a welcoming and accessible haven for neighboring families and friends that wish to support our mission.
We believe reading and discussing great literature is the perfect complement to a farm formation program. The natural balance to working hard is the leisure of reading a great book and learning through experience, contemplative reflection, discussions, and prayer. Our curriculum at Holy Family Farm is meant to be educational, enjoyable, and organic. Pope Benedict XVI wrote that “the search for God demands a culture of the word,” that one’s “longing for God” includes “love of the word, exploration of all its dimensions.” A sample of readings may include the following: Diary of a Country Priest, Divine Comedy, Screwtape Letters, Four Quartets, Chesterton’s Father Brown Stories and St. Francis of Assisi, Flannery O’Connor, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, John Donne, George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Quest of the Holy Grail, The Imitation of Christ, The Rule of St. Benedict, Leisure: the Basis of Culture, The Power of Silence, and The Lord of the Rings.