Catholic Rural Life Updates

Jim Ennis, Executive Director of Catholic Rural Life, took part in the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering this past week in Washington, DC. He had the opportunity to meet and learn from 500 Catholics dedicated to social ministry! Jim also led a focus group for diocesan rural ministry directors to get their input on the Faith, Food & the Environment project. Click here.








February 18, 2015


Our mission is to apply the teachings of Jesus Christ for the social, economic, and spiritual development of rural America.


 CRL helps rural people shape their futures and lead lives of dignity and piety

by providing spiritual, educational and advocacy assistance.









Prayer for Lent


Almighty God,

grant through the yearly observances of holy Lent,

that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects.


LORD Jesus Christ, You are the true Light enlightening every soul born into this world.


You are the Light of the world, shining in the darkness of our times.


Help us to live in that Light, to make it our own, and to kindle it in the souls of others, increasing the area of light and lessening the darkness in the world.


Then we, too, working for You shall be light-bearers who will help to spread Your kingdom on earth, and increase the number of those who dwell in heaven, the city of eternal light.





Lent CrossLent: Fasting and reflecting on environmental justice 


The liturgical season of Lent begins today. Following Pope Francis’s lead, the faithful should approach this time not only as a period for individual repentance and purification, but communal penance and self-sacrifice as well.


With that in mind, committed Catholics have made some connections between Lent and the very real struggle for environmental justice. We’ve highlighted these on the Catholic Rural Life blog.


The Global Catholic Climate Movement is leading an international Lenten Fast for Climate Justice, promoting abstinence from environmentally hazardous practices, as well as solidarity with those negatively affected by changes to the earth’s climate. People in the US will participate in the fast on March 16.


And Bill Patenaude of Catholic Ecology has written an insightful reflection, underscoring how the type of self-denial we practice in Lent is essential to the Christian approach to stewardship of creation. Visit our blog to learn more about both of these items!



Church opposes corporate livestock legislation in North Dakota 


Last week, Christopher Dodson, Executive Director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference, testified in opposition to a senate bill that would allow outside corporate investors to own swine and dairy farms in North Dakota.


Citing Church doctrine and recent remarks by Pope Francis, Dodson stated that the bill “a radical upending of the foundation of our state’s most widespread and permeating activity” that will “affect us all.” He was speaking of family farms.


See our Blog for more about Dodson’s testimony — and the call for Catholics to also express their support for family farms.


jfiJustice for Immigrants


Last week it was reported that Congress has been deadlocked in attempting to pass a bill that would roll back executive legislation. This Lenten season, let us uphold the dignity of all people and offer our prayers and action for immigrant families.


Both the Justice for Immigrants Campaign and the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) have posted Lenten resources on their websites. The Campaign resource is a 30-page toolkit that can be downloaded and used throughout the season of Lent.


The IIC prayer resource for Ash Wednesday includes a reflection, a call to prayer and a call to action to urge Members of Congress to uphold the dignity of others when they consider immigration policies and to oppose any legislation that rolls back executive action.


A reflection: In Defense of Dust


Today, we receive a cross of ashes on our forehead and are reminded that we are from dust, and to dust we shall return.


In light of this, we’re happy to share a “defense” of dust from CRL board member Dr. Christopher Thompson. Thompson points out that our “dustiness” underscores the fact that we are not only immortal souls, but also physical bodies. We have ties not only to heaven above, but to the earth we currently inhabit.


Rural life is a constant witness to this bond.


Faith, Food & the Environment


Catholic Rural Life is facilitating this initiative that will lead to a new understanding of the vocation of agricultural leaders.


Visit the Faith, Food and Environment website to learn more.


Check out the Presentations page for video links.



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Contact Info

Jonathan Liedl 

Communications Coordinator

(651) 895-4439