The latest from the Church in Rural America.



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October 30, 2015

WEEKLY WISDOM
 
"The destruction of the human environment is extremely serious, not only because God has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement."
 
- Pope Francis, Laudato Si
 


DES MOINES DINNER
CRL Friends, Members Gathered in Iowa
 
Catholic Rural Life was pleased to co-host an event with Bishop Richard Pates in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, Oct. 28.  Forty guests gathered downtown for dinner and enjoyed reflections on Laudato Si: Faith and the Call for an Integral Ecology. Bishop Pates and Jim Ennis, our Executive Director, shared about the challenge and impact of the Pope's letter.

Bishop Pates reminded us that the foundation of the Pope's encyclical is an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.  He spoke of the example of St. Francis as he exhorted us to embrace the challenges of excessive consumerism in the face of poverty. Jim shared about both the history of Catholic Rural Life, whose roots are deep in Iowa soil, as well as how it is working today to support rural communities nationwide. 

We were also pleased to gather with a small group of CRL members and friends for a focus group the next morning.  We learned much about the current realities of agriculture in Iowa, knowledge that will help us as we continue to develop the  Vocation of the Agricultural Leader
project.


ABUSES AGAINST POULTRY WORKERS
Oxfam America Launches New Campaign

Poultry workers in the United States suffer extremely high rates of injury, earn poverty level wages and work in a climate of fear, Oxfam America said in a new report released today. The report is central to Oxfam's new nationwide campaign that exposes the human cost of the modern poultry industry and rallies consumers to call on the nation's largest poultry companies--Tyson Foods, Pilgrim's, Perdue, and Sanderson Farms--to treat workers with fairness and dignity.
 
Oxfam's report, Lives on the Line, examines the hazardous plant conditions that lead to elevated rates of illness and injuries, and exposes industry practices designed to discourage workers from reporting violations and prevent organizing. The report also examines the industry's complex history of tapping marginalized populations for its workforce. Most of the roughly 250,000 poultry workers are minorities, immigrants, and refugees, and a significant number are women.

FEATURED PROGRAM
LIFE IN CHRIST LAY LEADERSHIP
Strengthening the Church in the Countryside

Pastors in rural areas often have their hands full, juggling responsibilities at multiple parishes that are located many miles apart. That's why CRL has created the Life in Christ Lay Leadership program, a comprehensive effort to train, empower, and provide ongoing support to lay people who want to bring the faith alive in their parishes. Read more about the program and how you can bring it to a church near you.
   
MONTH OF CLIMATE ACTION
Bishops Call for International Response
 
In one month, international leaders will gather in Paris for
the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. They will once again debate responses to the crises and causes of climate change. And we will be expecting and demanding appropriate action.

On the eve of this critical moment in history, the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) announces its "Month of Climate Action." We unite in prayer and activism with all Catholics who insist that COP21 produce sound climate policies--ones that encourage lifestyles rooted in solidarity, charity, and justice, the natural limits of our common home, and acknowledgement of the need to protect shared resources crucial for life.


CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE
White House Recognizes Sustainable Farmers

This week, the White House recognized 12 farmers, producers and educators from across the country as White House Champions of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture.
 
These individuals were selected by the White House for their achievements and are honored for exemplary leadership and innovation in agricultural production and education. The Champions have helped implement agricultural practices that promote soil health and energy efficiency, improve water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
     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.

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