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May 14, 2015


"St. Isidore's life demonstrates that if you have your spiritual self in order, your earthly commitments will fall into order also."
- Leonard Foley O.F.M., Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons, and Feasts

Celebrating the Patron of Farmers

Tomorrow is the feast day of St. Isidore, the patron of farmers and Catholic Rural Life. St. Isidore lived in Spain from 1070-1130 and is revered for his deep devotion to daily prayer, tireless work ethic, and compassion for the poor and needy. He reminds us of the dignity of work, and that ordinary life can lead to holiness.

Don Hegwood, the former dean of the School of Agriculture at Texas A&M-Kingsville has written a reflection on the life and example of St. Isidore. CRL also has a number of resources available to help you celebrate St. Isidore's feast day, including a litany in honor of St. Isidore and a novena asking for his intercession . We also have St. Isidore prayer cards in a variety of shapes and sizes available in our online store.

Keeping Rural Communities Alive and Thriving

Stories of the demise of America's small towns are convenient and dramatic, but that doesn't make them accurate. John Crabtree, the media director for the Center for Rural Affairs , writes that the picture in rural America is more complicated. While there are certainly challenges in drawing young people to small towns or providing opportunities for those who are already there, there are also plenty of encouraging signs of hope.

Crabtree's article, "Unconventional Wisdom: Youth, Young Adults and the Future of Small Town, America", appears in the Spring 2015 issue of CRL's magazine. This issue focuses on passing on our faith, farms and communities to the next generation of rural Catholics, and includes stories on rural youth ministry, beginning farming, and the rural-vocations connection. Visit the CRL store to get your copy today.

Over Tens Years of Senior-Level Experience

CRL is excited to announce the hiring of Peg Louiselle as the organization's new director of development. Peg, who most recently was a senior development officer for institutional advancement at a Catholic university, has a proven record of helping non-profits strengthen their programs and impact.

Peg is a Minnesota native, and will be working out of CRL's St. Paul-based headquarters. She can be reached at 651-962-5955 or Welcome to Catholic Rural Life, Peg!

Volunteer with Catholic Relief Services in East Africa

CRL partners with Catholic Relief Services to match American farmers, businessmen, and scientists with volunteer opportunities in East Africa. Assignments are typically 2-3 weeks and all expenses are paid for. Learn more about the Farmer-to-Farmer program and consider applying today.

A Great Gift for Graduation or Ordination

It's May, which means a number of young men and women will be celebrating big life accomplishments--and new beginnings--this month. You can recognize their achievements, while also providing them with some spiritual support going forward, with the gift of one of CRL's beautiful Rural Life Prayer Books.

This small hand-held prayer book was first published by CRL in 1956 and has just been reprinted. Its 410 pages include classic prayers of the Church, but also blessing and prayers unique to the rural family.  The Rural Life Prayer Book is the perfect gift for the graduate or ordained who loves the Lord and loves rural life. You can find it in our online store.

CRL Joins Campaign Urging Congress to Act

As part of a national campaign advocating for effective rural development, Catholic Rural Life has joined other organizations to urge Congress to protect and enhance funding for critical rural development programs. The respective House and Senate subcommittees are currently considering agriculture appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2016.

The effort is part of the Campaign for a Renewed Rural Development, which is a collaboration of national organizations with a strong interest in the sustainability and prosperity of rural America. The Campaign recognizes the importance of strong appropriations of USDA Rural Development programs to the rural communities, residents and industries that we represent. View the write-up on our website for an excerpt from the letter and the target funding levels.

     Applying the teachings of Jesus Christ 
     for the betterment of rural America
We're the only national Catholic non-profit dedicated to  addressing and overcoming the challenges facing rural America, be they social, economical, or spiritual.   Please consider supporting our work by becoming a member or donating today.

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Contact Jonathan Liedl, CRL Communications Coordinator.