"Once the human being declares independence from reality and behaves with absolute dominion, the very foundations of our life begin to crumble."
- Pope Francis, Laudato Si, P. 131
FUTURE PRIESTS IN THE FIELD
CRL's Rural Ministry Practicum
It's well documented that there's a disconnect between the city and the countryside, between the farm and the kitchen table. CRL is doing it's part to erase this knowledge gap in a particular way: by familiarizing seminarians with the joys and challenges of rural ministry and the contemporary landscape of the American countryside.
We call it our Rural Ministry Practicum. This year, 16 seminarians from the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity participated in the week-long crash course in all things rural. We began with 2.5 half days of in-class instruction, which helped expose seminarians from the suburbs and cities to rural realities that often go ignored by most of America. This was followed up by 2.5 days in rural Minnesota, visiting family farms, country parishes, and seeing the theology of creation up close and personal. All in all, it was a great opportunity to instill a sense of appreciation and awareness for rural life in the future priests of our Church!
HELPING BEGINNING FARMERS
Proposal Offers Loan Forgiveness
Getting into farming these days--and succeeding--is tough. There's the cost of land and equipment; the lack of experience and support; add to it the heavy burden of student loans, and it's understandable why many young people who would otherwise farm are forced to turn elsewhere. It's a problem that needs to be fixed.
Which is why CRL welcomes a new bill in Congress that aims to forgive student loans of beginning farmers. The bi-partisan legislation recognizes something that our friends at the National Young Farmers Coalition have been saying for a while: farming is a public service. Visit our website to
read more about the Young Farmers Success Act of 2015 and our thoughts on it!
FAITH, FOOD & THE ENVIRONMENT
The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader
In collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, CRL is spearheading an initiative to provide farmers and food leaders with practical ways of applying their faith to their work. The project has received input from the ag community by holding focus groups and conferences with farm leaders, ecologists, and policy makers. A set of resources will be produced, beginning with The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader document by the end of this year. Visit the dedicated website to learn more.
The Sunday Morning special took us through the CIW's incredible 20-year struggle for respect and dignity in the fields and the historical transformations that have taken place in Florida's agricultural industry through the Fair Food Program, which the New York Times has hailed as "the best workplace-monitoring program" in the U.S. today.
CATHOLIC RURAL LIFE
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.