Catholic Rural Life Updates




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“In short, field and air, plant and animal have a knack for opening us up to God, far better than steel and concrete.”


– Bryce Evans, Seminarian and Participant in CRL’s Rural Ministry Practicum






A Seminarian Considers the Blessings, Challenges


This e-Bulletin’s Weekly Wisdom, which you can read above, is drawn from a larger reflection on rural ministry from Bryce Evans. Bryce is in his third year of theological studies at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, and is studying for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.


Bryce participated in CRL’s Rural Ministry Practicum this summer, and it really shows through in his illuminating article, which captures the profound theological dimensions of rural life, but also the difficulties facing parishes in the countryside. “For this seminarian,” Bryce writes, “the biggest take-away from our week of considering the realities of rural Catholic life was excitement at the possibilities latent in such a ministry. A rural ministry demands great imagination and investment, but at the same time promises great yield.”


With powerful reflections like that, you can see why we’re excited about the next crop of priests who will serve Catholics in the countryside…and why we think preparing them for the realities of rural ministry is of the utmost importance!



Four Reasons Why Ag Cooperatives Are Important


October is National Co-Ops Month, and there are lots of reasons to celebrate our nation’s many agricultural cooperatives. These touch on everything from positive economic impacts to community building, and of course the unifying capacity they inherently have. Read our online article by policy coordinator Bob Gronski for more info on how co-ops work, why they’re important and how you can get involved with one near you!







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.




Calling for a Reduction of Carbon Emissions


Climate change affects everyone, but especially the poor and most vulnerable people among us. Inspired by Pope Francis and his Laudato Si encyclical, we support efforts to drastically cut carbon emissions to keep the global temperature rise below the dangerous 1.5 degree Celsius threshold, and to aid the world’s poorest in coping with climate change impacts.


If you agree, please consider joining CRL staff by signing the Global Catholic Climate Movement’s petition. The GCCM aims to present this petition to public leaders before December’s climate summit in Paris.



Board Member Recognized as “Climate Champion”


 Bishop Richard Pates, a former CRL board member, was recognized yesterday at a special event put on by Iowa Interfaith Power and Light. The bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines was honored as a Climate Champion Award Recipient for his pastoral efforts to connect care of creation with orthodox Catholic faith.

From all of us at CRL, congratulations to Bishops Pates!





     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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