Dear Friends,

This week we are leading another Thriving in Rural Ministry Retreat. We are at St. Meinrad’s Monastery in Indiana. The participating priests come from all parts of the world literally and have 297 years of rural ministry experience between them. Some of the priests have even served as missionaries in other parts of the world such as Papua New Guinea and South Sudan. 

One of the goals of the Thriving in Rural Ministry Retreat is to provide priests time to share their stories, the blessings and the challenges, and encourage one another. One of the presenters focused on the importance of understanding the culture, the history, and even the landscape of the place where God has called a priest to serve. Every community has a history, a story, a way of celebrating life; and it is important to be curious and to learn the story of that particular place, that particular culture, whether it be rural Indiana or rural Papua New Guinea. The Lord has placed each one of us in a particular place where He wants to engage us, encounter us. 

The ultimate vision of the program is to raise up leaders who can be catalysts in their rural communities, helping families, farms and parishes to thrive. The program draws from the wealth of experiences of pastors from all over the country to sharpen each other in rural ministry. The Lord has blessed us so far, reaching over 75 priests from 40 dioceses. There is a lot of good work still to do. Thank you for your continued prayers for this work as we continue to expand the program throughout the U.S.

If you desire to support the program further, we have created a new St. John Vianney scholarship fund to help priests serving in rural communities attend these retreats. St. John Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests and we pray for his intercession for all our priests, especially those serving in rural communities. To give to the fund, donate here and add "St. John Vianney" in the comment section.

Many blessings,
James Ennis
Executive Director
Catholic Rural Life
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CRL Community
“I live in a small area in Michigan and, although rural life is not my daily life, I am still a part of it through the social and spiritual awareness that CRL creates. CRL connects people that share common interests and promote the critically important Catholic Social Teaching of care for creation. We hear a lot about care for creation from a secular standpoint but we need to continue to talk about this with faith.”

– Paul Stankewitz
CRL Member, Michigan

Want to hear more? Read what other members have to say here.
CRL Annual Appeal
For 98 years CRL has been dedicated to promoting Catholic life in rural America. Thank you for being a part of the CRL community and for your support and prayers! We respectfully ask for your annual support so that, together with our members across the country, we can continue to expand and deepen the impact of our rich Catholic faith within our rural communities.
Native American Scholars Program
On Monday, October 11 we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. Did you know that CRL has a scholarship to support the ongoing efforts of Native Americans in Minnesota? The scholars fund helps students gain academic expertise in their effort to preserve manoomin (wild rice) in its natural state as found in lakes, rivers, and streams.
October Blessing
"Animals are our companions on Earth, be they house pets, domesticated livestock or wild creatures. We receive much from them: comfort, protection and wonder, as well as labor, food and clothing. So we ask God to help us remember our dependence on these creatures, great and small, and to make us wise enough to care properly for all animals: they too reveal God’s loving presence."
Upcoming Events
October 31, 2021 - Rural Life Harvest Mass and Celebration, CRL-Madison, Wisconsin

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

January 15, 2022 - Blessing of Seed and Soil Mass, CRL-Victoria, Texas

February 14-18, 2022 - Thriving in Rural Ministry Retreat, Venice, Florida

See all upcoming events here.
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