Catholic Herald staff
A wife, mother and farmer, Rose Haase was nominated last spring for the Superior Diocesan Council of Catholic Women’s 2018 Pax Christi Award.
A member of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Farmington, Haase is from the Osceola/Somerset area. She attended St. Anne Catholic School and Osceola schools before earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UW-Superior.
After they both graduated from college, Haase married her husband, Jason, a fourth-generation dairy farmer. The couple bought their first dairy herd of 45 cows from a retiring neighbor in 2000.
“This farm was about a mile from where Jason grew up, so we were able to continue to help his parents with caring for their herd and farm the land around the home farm,” she said. “When one of Jason’s brothers wanted to come back to the family farm also, we decided to expand the facilities to provide for three families. In 2004, we purchased a third herd of Holstein cows, and we built a free-stall barn and double-12 milking parlor to combine the three herds.”
Haase worked as a chemist for the first six years of their marriage, but after their fourth child was born in 2005, “I transitioned from being a chemist to focusing on being a farm wife,” she said.
“We now farm over 1,000 acres (about half owned and half rented), where we grow just enough alfalfa and corn to feed our 500 milking cows. And, in 2017, we had our ninth child, a daughter, so between the kids and the cows, we keep ourselves quite busy,” Haase added.
A woman of deep faith, Haase appreciates the universality of Catholicism – “I love how I can go to Mass wherever I am and feel right at home” – but she is most inspired by divine mercy, “‘where God’s infinite love meets us and helps us in the midst of our suffering, brokenness, and sin’ (Fr. Michael Gaitley’s definition).
“I love the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and how this prayer is beneficial for the whole world,” she added.
Faith has also guided Haase through some of her darkest hours. In 2014, when she was pregnant with the couple’s seventh child, there were complications. Haase was put on bed rest at home, and then admitted to United Hospital in St. Paul when she was 24 weeks pregnant.
“Our son, Joseph Anthony, was born at 25 weeks, but his lungs were underdeveloped,” she said. “He lived for 12 hours in the NICU, where he had such good care, but was unable to survive.”
Throughout the pregnancy and following the loss, their parish cluster – St. Anne’s, St. Joseph’s, and Assumption – and wider communities stepped in to support the family. Through endless meals, twice-daily rides to school for their children, help on the farm, constant encouragement, and many other blessings, friends, family and neighbors rallied around the Haases.
They “were the hands and feet of Jesus, guiding and helping us through our difficult times,” she added.
In a note thanking all those who helped, the Haases wrote: “May God bless you all for your care, love and support for us during this journey. We take comfort in our faith, family, friends and farm.”