Dear Friends,

Last month I invited a senior advisor at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to speak to the seminarians in our Rural Ministry Practicum. She shared results from a state-wide survey of rural community leaders and one of the major concerns among these leaders was the mental health challenges among farmers. In the U.S., suicide rates are higher in rural communities than in urban areas. One of the contributing factors is the high stress levels among farmers. Many states are setting up helplines for farmers like the Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline (833) 600-2670. We all need to support farmers and their families. 

Please remember all farmers in your prayers, and do not be afraid to reach out to farmers in your local communities and affirm them and their work. Please join me in praying together this prayer in honor of St. Isidore, patron saint of farmers, from the Rural Life Prayerbook.

"O God, who taught Adam the simple art of tilling the soil, and who through Jesus Christ, the true vine, revealed yourself the husbandman of our souls, deign, we pray, through the merits of blessed Isidore, to instill into our hearts a horror of sin and a love of prayer, so that, working the soil in the sweat of our brow, we may enjoy eternal happiness in heaven, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen."

St. Isidore, pray for us!

Many blessings,
James Ennis
Executive Director
Catholic Rural Life
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CRL Community
“I have benefited from being a part of Catholic Rural Life by seeing how they both care and speak out about reducing hunger, combating rural poverty, and protecting the natural resources that are God’s creation. A nation’s food and agricultural policy reflects our part in the stewardship of the creation that God entrusted to our care, and which provides us with, as our Lord himself prayed for, “our daily bread.” As Catholics, we have an ongoing obligation to the Earth, to its creatures, but most importantly, to each other.”

– Julian Heron
Attorney, Farm Owner, & CRL Board Member, Washington DC

Want to hear more? Read what other members have to say here.
The Language of Farmers
Fr. Nicholas Blackwell is a Carmelite Friar serving at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New York. He was interviewed on "Son Rise Morning Show" about his recent article on "The Language of Farmers" in the Summer 2021 CRL magazine. Check out the conversation at the link below!
A Prayer to Ponder - CRL Blog
"Slow me down, Lord! Ease the pounding of my heart by
the quieting of my mind. Steady my hurried pace with the vision of the eternal reach of time. Give me amidst the confusion of my day, the calmness of the everlasting hills. Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams."
Thriving in Rural Ministry Retreat
We are hosting another Thriving in Rural Ministry retreat on October 4-8 in St. Meinrad, Indiana. There is still time to register! This is a retreat experience and follow-up for priests serving in a rural setting. The program is designed to renew rural pastors and help revitalize their communities. Please share this information with your pastor and invite him to join us!
Upcoming Events
September 18, 2021 - Farm to Table Supper, CRL-Maine

September 22, 2021 - Rural Life Day, CRL La Crosse, Wisconsin

October 4-8, 2021 - Thriving in Rural Ministry Retreat, St. Meinrad, Indiana

October 31, 2021 - Rural Life Harvest Mass and Celebration, CRL-Madison, Wisconsin

November 20, 2021 - Harvest Mass, CRL-Victoria, Texas

See all upcoming events here.
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