Catholic Rural Life Updates




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“Anyone who has grown up in the hills or used to sit by the spring to drink or played outdoors in the neighborhood square; going back to these places is a chance to recover something of their true selves.”


– Pope Francis, Laudato Si’





Love God First, and Love For Creation Will Follow


We celebrated the feast day of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks, earlier this week. She is the patroness of the environment and ecology, and has inspired some beautiful, faith-filled approaches to caring for God’s creation, such as the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center.


Saint Kateri was radically committed to loving God alone. The fact that she had this singular devotion to God, yet is still recognized by the Church as the patroness of the environment and ecology, is the subject of a reflection on our website that gets at an important truth: Love God first, and love for creation for creation will follow.



Recognize the Benefits of Local Food Systems


USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has official designated August 2-8 as National Farmers Market Week! Visit the link for great resources to help prepare for this weeklong celebration, and check out the USDA’s handy Local Food Directory to locate a farmers market near you.


Catholic Rural Life continues to be an advocate for farmers markets, community support agriculture (CSAs), and the resurgence of local food systems. We also stay engaged with the Farmers Market Coalition, which is counting down the days to National Farmers Market Week by highlighting the different ways that farmers markets benefit communities. Be sure to download their Marketing Toolkit to help spread the word about the benefits of farmers markets!





Agricultural Ethics for a Global Generation


Eating is a moral act, which means there are ethical implications for every step of agriculture, from the farm to the kitchen table. These free one-page backgrounders apply Catholic social teaching to a whole host of ag issues, from respecting the dignity of arm workers to prioritizing the needs of the poor in our food system.




Protecting Pollinators in a Changing Climate


Bees are some of the most important insects on the planet: They are one of the primary pollinators of plants used for food. Without them it would be nearly impossible to produce crops on a large scale.


According to a report from the Christian Science Monitor, however, climate change is putting bee populations all over the world at risk. As global temperatures rise, bumblebees have fled lower-latitude regions in search of cooler temperatures. We would expect them to fly north when it gets too hot, but northern populations have not been shown to be increasing by any measure. So what gives?


Bumblebees contribute nearly $3 billion worth of fruits and flowers to the global economy each year by pollinating plants. If they were to all disappear, we would be facing some serious trouble. See the Friends of the Earth campaign for protecting bees and pollinators.





National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Is Invaluable


 Regular readers of our bulletin know that we often include items by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. CRL is a long-time member of this coalition and we greatly benefit from the efforts of the DC-based staff to advocate for our common concerns for sustainable agriculture and farm communities.


The coalition – or NSAC, as we call it – leverages the power of DC-based advocacy, public education, and grassroots voices nationwide to advance policies for a more sustainable farm and food system. They engage in advocacy work with legislators and administrative agencies in Washington, while also building the capacity of coalition members to do effective grassroots organizing work.  This synergy between a well-established DC office and a network of grassroots farmers and advocates participating through strong organizations is the key to NSAC’s success.


CRL greatly appreciates their efforts. Click here to learn more about their work, which indeed is an invaluable catalyst for social and ecological change in our nation’s food production system.





     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.

Learn more at our website,



Have a question about our e-bulletin? Have an item you want to share?


Contact Jonathan Liedl, CRL Communications Coordinator.





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