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May 21, 2015


"As stewards of God's creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling."

- Pope Francis, Speech in Manila, Philippines, January 18, 2015

Jim Ennis to Give Radio Interview at 3:30 PM CDT

North America's honeybee population is currently being decimated, and some contemporary agricultural practices may be contributing. The plight of the bee is so bad that it's even garnered the attention of the White House.
What does Catholic social teaching and our understanding of environmental stewardship have to do with this development? CRL's executive director Jim Ennis will be on the radio this afternoon to explain just that. He'll also be joined by Dr. Christopher Thompson from the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, a bee keeper himself. They'll be on the Drew Mariani Show at 3:30 PM (Central Time). You can listen to the interview live online or you can tune into the  Relevant Radio station in your area.

CAFOD Backgrounder Answers Your Questions

Got questions about Pope Francis's upcoming eco-encyclical? Unsure of what an encyclical even is? Getting up to speed has never been easier, thanks to the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development's super-informative FAQ on the encyclical.

Providing answers to eleven of the most common questions surrounding the forthcoming papal document, the FAQ will help you develop a greater understanding of the significance of the encyclical for the Catholic community, the relationship between science and Catholic social teaching, and what you can do to prepare. Check it out today!

Q&A with a New Catholic Land Movement Family

A growing number of young Catholics are leaving the dreariness of modern urban living behind and heading to the countryside. They're part of the New Catholic Land Movement, and sacrifice the comforts of the city for the simplicity and sustainability of rural life, uniting work, faith, and family.

We wrote-up a Q&A with one of these families in our Spring 2015 magazine issue. The Barkers hail from Newport, Vermont, and started New Peasant Farm over two years ago. They shared with us their motivation for living on the land, the challenges they've faced, and their hopes for the future. It's a frank and realistic account of what it's like to be a beginning farmer in this day and age, and will hopefully provide other young Catholics thinking of farming with honest answers and inspiration.
Bring Catholic Social Teaching to Your Rural Parish

CRL trains lay people in rural areas to lead small groups discussions on Catholic social teaching in their local parish. The curriculum is provided, and we work to give lay leaders ongoing support. Learn more about bringing the Life in Christ Lay Leadership program to your parish and/or diocese by emailing Jim Ennis (

Initiative Urges World Leaders to Act Decisively

The Catholic Climate petition got a big boost this past week when Pope Francis offered the initiative his approval. The pope discussed the petition with advocates and spent time examining it later in his office.

An initiative of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, which CRL is a part of, the Catholic Climate petition aims to urge global leaders to act decisively on climate justice by collecting over one million signatures before the United Nations Climate Summit in late November. You can sign the petition online, or you can print out a paper version, and make sure to share with other Catholics who are concerned about Creation.

Applications Due by Early July

Farmers and ranchers looking to adopt new systems of production, processing, or marketing -- especially for local or regional markets - can now apply for a Value-Added Producer Grant. This USDA program may helps farmers and ranchers expand their customer base and income by creating new or developing existing value-added enterprises. The grants can help provide working capital and support feasibility studies, business plans, or marketing efforts.


Deadlines are July 2 for online applications and July 7 for paper applications. Learn more about who's eligible and what the Value-Added Producer Grant program can help you do. Visit the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's website to download a free Farmers Guide to Applying for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program.

     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.

Have a question about our e-bulletin? Have an item you want to share?

Contact Jonathan Liedl, CRL Communications Coordinator.