Catholic Rural Life Updates









January 7, 2015


NCRLC transparent logo

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.






 CRL Store

Blog Post




Winter Blessing of Silence and Rest


The start of a new year: a time to renew and get back on track.


But before carrying out our resolve for the year, it serves to remember that rest and silence are also valuable.


Winter’s natural stillness allows a welcomed pause to the frenzied pace of our lives.


The boisterous hum of family life and work is now replaced by quietness, if only for a moment.


In the spirit of this month’s blessing, consider preparing a simple meal for family or friends. Light a candle.


After a moment of silence, offer this prayer:


Loved ones, let us open our hearts.


God of the ages, You call your people to seek You in the quietist of places.


Free us from what detracts and blinds us; let us behold your marvelous Presence.


Renew us by the teachings of your Word so that we may live more abundantly.


When life around us appears dark, make us a harvester of Light.


We ask this through

Christ our Lord. Amen.


[Adapted from our Calendar of Blessings

for January.]




Br. Dave AndrewsBr. Dave Andrews, former CRL executive director, passes away 


Br. Dave Andrews CSC, executive director of Catholic Rural Life from 1995 to 2007, passed away at the St. Joseph Center in Valatie, New York, on Monday morning, Jan. 5. He was 70 years old and had been battling with ill health over the past year.             b.1944 – d.2015


“Br. Dave served as CRL executive director for 13 years, the second longest tenure in the 91-year history of Catholic Rural Life,” said James Ennis. “He was passionate in his advocacy on behalf of family farmers and care for creation, and he inspired many people of faith to respond to the call to action to support family farmers and a more sustainable future. He will be missed.”


See our remembrance of the life and work Br. Dave .


CRL Session on Faith, Food & Environment at Wash., DC, Social Ministry Gathering


The annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering will take place in Washington, DC, just one month from now. The 2015 theme is “To Go Forth: Encountering Christ in the Heart of the World.”


As we do every year, Catholic Rural Life will host a luncheon session as a lead up to the Gathering. Please join us on Saturday, Feb. 7, from 11 am to 1:30 pm. This year’s session will continue our discussions about Faith, Food and the Environment, following a successful symposium held in St. Paul, MN, this past November.


Those attending the Gathering can register through the CSMG website. For anyone wishing to attend just the CRL session, contact Beth Hyser at 651-962-5955.



Pennsylvania farmer and CRL recruit to begin service assignment in Tanzania


Reuben DeMaster, the owner and operator of Willow Haven Farm, will begin a two-and-a-half week service trip to Tanzania this Friday.  DeMaster will consult with Tanzanian farmers about growing practices and soil fertility as part of the Farmer-to-Farmer program, which is currently being administered by Catholic Relief Services (CRS).


CRL is helping CRS with recruitment efforts, and DeMaster is the first CRL recruit to receive an assignment in East Africa. Stay tuned for updates on his experience, and if you’re interested in volunteering yourself, please contact Beth Hyser at or 651 962 5955.


Rural Life Prayer Book reprinted, available for purchase


A beloved CRL product first published in 1956, the Rural Life Prayer Book has recently been reprinted by Saint Benedict Press.

The prayer book includes classic prayers of Church, but also blessing and praters unique to the rural family: Blessing of the Barn and Stored Harvest, Blessing of the Poultry, A Farmer’s Prayer to Mary, Devotions for the Feast of St. Isidore, and many more!

To purchase the Catholic Rural Life Prayer Book, visit our dedicated e-store!


jfiNational Migration Week, Jan. 4-10


The Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are asking dioceses and parishes to participate in National Migration Week.

Running from January 4 – 10, the week’s theme is “We are One Family Under God.” This reminder is timely for the current immigration debate in Congress , as family members are too often separated from one another. Please check out the assortment of resources – prayer cards, backgrounders, weblinks – that can help with your recognition and activities for National Migration Week 2015.


Learn about other actions during the upcoming year at Justice for Immigrants.


Faith, Food & the Environment:

Presentations from Symposium


Catholic Rural Life is facilitating an initiative called “Faith, Food & the Environment” that will lead to a new understanding of the vocation of agricultural business leaders.

Visit the dedicated project website to learn more, and check out the Presentations page for video links & transcripts.



Stay Up to Date

Keep track of CRL news, commentaries and materials through our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter




Contact Info

Jonathan Liedl 

Communications Coordinator

(651) 895-4439