Catholic Rural Life Updates











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.






Pope Francis prompting action on climate change in the US

Pope Francis is undeniably a man with international popularity. So it’s unsurprising that when he takes a stance on an issue, people take notice.


In this case, that issue is climate change. And with the expected release of the pope’s “environmental encyclical” approaching, religious leaders in the US are making the case that curbing climate change is a matter of faith and morals.


Leaders from several different faith traditions met on the steps of the Capitol last week to call for action from Congress. Additionally, Archbishop Thomas Wenski (Miami), the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, penned an insightful editorial connecting climate change to Catholic social teaching (which he has graciously allowed CRL to republish on our website).


CRL’s lay leadership program poised for diocese-wide expansion in Winona 


Catholic Rural Life’s Life in Christ program has enjoyed steady growth over the years, but it’s set for its biggest expansion yet.


Plans are in place to implement the lay leadership program in 8 rural parishes in the Diocese of Winona (Minnesota). The program equips lay men and women to lead small group discussions on Catholic social teaching.

Deacon Chris Walchuk, the diocese’s Director of Rural Life, recently spoke with CRL about what made the program attractive, noting its commitment to the Gospel, the ongoing support provided, and its focus on giving laypeople ownership of their faith.

Read our story on this expansion to learn more about the Life in Christ lay leadership program and what you can do to bring it to your diocese and parish.


laughing-quad-friends.jpgLeadership award for young Catholics: call for nominations 

Do you know a young faith-filled Catholic between the ages of 18-40 who has demonstrated leadership against poverty and injustice in the United States? We want to make sure that rural parishes and communities are aware of this opportunity to nominate one of their exceptional youth.


The Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award, an activity of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, recognizes the leadership, energy and diverse skills that young people bring to the anti-poverty work of low-income projects and Catholic parishes. The Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award highlights the gifts of young leaders and their Gospel commitment to the poor.


Visit the CCHD site for more details about eligibility & deadline.



USDA web resources for new farmers, ranchers


New and beginning farmers and ranchers are as diverse as American agriculture itself. Some are part of traditional row-crop farms for agribusiness production and others are starting community supported agriculture programs to deliver fresh products directly to their neighbors. New and beginning operators are raising beef, pork, dairy cattle, poultry, and fish on operations of every size.


Growing the next generation of agricultural producers has never been more exciting or more urgent than it is right now. As the average age of farmers and ranchers in America continues to rise, the question of how we build our bench in agriculture becomes ever more important.


At the USDA website, new and beginning farmers and ranchers can access a great deal of information to help them get into or launch a successful farm operation.


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