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St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Dutzow - Annual Palm Sunday Dinner

Sunday, 04/02/2023 at 11:30 AM - 6:00 PM

FFE Eco-Series Film “The Letter”

Tuesday, 04/11/2023 at 6:30 PM

Toasting New Beginnings

Wednesday, 04/12/2023 at 4:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Co-Ed Trivia Night

Friday, 04/14/2023 at 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Care for the Caregiver

Saturday, 04/15/2023 at 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Sacred Heart dinner auction

Saturday, 04/15/2023 at 6:00 PM

Made for More Speaker Series

Wednesday, 04/19/2023 at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Talk about screen addiction

Wednesday, 04/26/2023 at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The Jansen family: Parents Seth and Maria and children Joseph, 10, Gabriel, 9, John Paul, 7, Giorgio, 5, Gemma, 2
The Jansen family: Parents Seth and Maria and children Joseph, 10, Gabriel, 9, John Paul, 7, Giorgio, 5, Gemma, 2
Photo Credit: Lisa Johnston

FAMILY | Hatching a plan

Owners of environmentally friendly family business put trust in God

Seth and Maria Jansen launched their business, The Easy Chicken, in 2014 after getting backyard chickens of their own. They make backyard chickens more accessible and affordable. A bonus is being part of a movement that provides local, wholesome food in a way that respects the land and the animal. They also have a business sharpening knives, scissors and tools. It’s an environmentally friendly alternative to buying new. The flexibility of self-employment allows the Jansens to spend more time together and maintain a close connection to nature.

What do chickens have to do with faith? I was drawn to farming, partially for my love of the outdoors, partly for my background in agriculture in college and partly out of a sense of stewardship for creation. I’ve been involved in the pro-life movement and (the idea of being) a pro-life environmentalist. It’s just realizing the beauty of God’s creation, how we can sustain and respect that and be good stewards of that while enjoying it. (Seth)

The business journey relates a lot to trust in God. Being able to be totally open to what He has in store for us, and it’s not anything we necessarily envisioned ourselves doing. Every step of the way there’s been things that we really have to trust God, even if it doesn’t make sense to us. It’s testing our faith — how much do we really believe that He’s taking care of us and He’s going to be behind us no matter what. And, He’s allowing us to go through setbacks and challenges before helping us get through them. It’s been a great exercise in trust. (Maria)

How have you learned from each other? Maria’s been a constant reminder of who’s business this is and that God gave us this for a reason. It’s not always the reasons I might think of first, but it’s ultimately to bring Him glory. She’s a reminder to me to constantly give this to God. It’s already His. He has a beautiful purpose that we might not see. (Seth)

I’ve learned to respect Seth’s perseverance. There are times when somebody has to go out and take care of the chickens during an ice storm or take care of them during really uncomfortable conditions. He stays up late, gets up early and never complains about it. (Maria)

How does the business impact your children? I love that the kids see him working. When he just worked in an office job, they really didn’t understand the work that he was doing. Part of why we started our business was that we had little boys and wanted Seth to be around more, to be a strong example for them, to have some manual labor involved so they can learn to work with their hands and gain skills they might not get otherwise. It’s been a great experience for them. They help with the businesses. They work at the farmers’ markets with us, they go on deliveries, they work at the farm and even when they’re not doing work they’re always around it because our home is our business. (Maria)

Any stories about it? A confirmation for us that this was the right thing to do was that before we started this business I was struggling with my health and had just been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. It was kind of a catch-22 because stress triggered the symptoms, the symptoms made it hard to function, which made it more stressful. But after we made the switch and decided to start this business, all of my symptoms went away in two weeks. (Maria)

What is the most important thing families can do to build their faith together?

Besides modeling and teaching a daily prayer life, in our experience, one of the most helpful things is living the liturgical year together. Rich traditions help connect our domestic church to the Church family throughout the world and throughout time. They build good memories for our kids and hopefully help them own their faith when the attractions of the world lure them away. (Seth and Maria)

Seth and Maria Jansen

BUSINESS: The Easy Chicken

PARISH: St. Ferdinand in Florissant

CHILDREN: Joseph, 10, Gabriel, 9, John Paul, 7, Giorgio, 5, Gemma, 2

FAVORITE SAINTS: St. Ignatius Loyola (Seth), St. John Paul II and St. Gemma (Maria)

Some fun ways our family has used the liturgical year to build our faith together are:

• Decorating Gingerbread Men like Divine Mercy Jesus

• Inviting other families over to celebrate feasts

• Birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Morning

• Barbecue on the Feast of St. Lawrence (was martyred on a grill)

• “Fling the cannonball at the knee” game on St. Ignatius’ feast day

• Participate in “Lent Madness” (a Catholic take on March Madness)

• Bury “Alleluia” on Shrove Tuesday

• Sword fights on feasts of St. George, St. Michael, St. Louis, etc.

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