The latest from the Church in Rural America.

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August 7, 2015

"There is a fundamental link between mankind and creation. Rural people are uniquely situated at the heart of this relationship."
- Bishop Paul D. Etienne of the Diocese of Cheyenne and President of Catholic Rural Life

Focusing on Faith, Family and Farming
Catholic Rural Life was privileged to join the Diocese of Cheyenne in hosting a Mass for farmers, ranchers and their families this past weekend. The gathering brought together over 200 rural Catholics for worship and fellowship. It was an opportunity for CRL to affirm the work and livelihoods of farmers and ranchers--and to also spread the word about our organization and its work. Make sure to check our Facebook page for some beautiful and inspiring pics from the event.
Rural life celebrations are an awesome opportunity to gather and affirm the importance and interrelatedness of faith, family and farming. CRL is slated to participate in several more over the next few months, so make sure to check out our events page to see if we're coming to a diocese near you. If not, then we'd love to help bring a rural life celebration to your neck of the woods. Contact Peg for more information on how to make that happen:
Catholic in the Countryside Column 

Laudato Si has something to say to everyone, but it has a unique message for rural residents--those who live and work in close intimacy with nature. That's the theme of a column by Bishop Paul D. Etienne, Praising God in Rural America, which is now posted on the CRL website and is being included in diocesan newspapers around the country.

This article is the first installment of a new monthly column from CRL called Catholic in the Countryside. The column will explore issues such as rural poverty, the ethics of farming, and the connection between rural life and religious vocations. Make sure to check out previous installments, and contact Jonathan Liedl ( ) to find out how to get Catholic in the Countryside into your local diocesan paper.

Equipping the Next Generation of Rural Priests

In partnership with the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, CRL offers a five day rural ministry practicum for seminarians, preparing these future-priests for pastoral assignments in rural parishes. The practicum includes two days of in-class instruction led by Jim Ennis and Dr. Christopher Thompson, and then concludes with multiple field visits to farms and rural communities. Learn more about the Rural Ministry Practicum at the CRL website.

CFRA: Top 10 Rural Research Reports


Are you a "rural nerd"? If so, then you'll probably be excited by one of the latest publications from our friends at the Center for Rural Affairs. They've created a "Top 10" list of rural research reports, and provided helpful synopses of each.


Honestly, whether you're a nerd or not, you can learn a lot from the reports cited. For instance, did you know that rural households use food stamps at a higher rate than their urban and suburban counterparts? Or that rural residents have higher incidence rates of common diseases than non-rural people? Just a few of the highlighted findings from this treasure trove of rural-related research. Check it out today!


Hands on Education and Mentoring


Farming is a tough business, and beginning farmers need hands-on experience and mentoring before they can successfully take on a commercial operation. Finding that experience and mentoring can be a significant challenge, and it's at the heart of why Rogue Farm Corps was created.


The Oregon-based non-profit started the FarmsNext program, which is a full-season, immersive farm internship program geared towards aspiring farmers with little or no experience. RFC has also created the FarmsNOW program, a two season advanced internship for graduates of the FarmsNext programs and for new incoming students who already have at least two years of farming experience. It shouldn't be so difficult for young people to get into farming, but while it is, it's good to know their are organizations like Rogue Farm Corps out there!


     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.