After two days in the classroom learning about rural ministry, creation theology, and the challenges facing the American countryside, the 16 seminarians participating in Catholic Rural Life’s Rural Ministry Practicum went on a field trip.
The future priests (God willing!), who are in their third year of priestly formation at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, have spent the past day and half out on family farms in rural Minnesota. They’ve been on tractors; they’ve checked out cows; and yes, they’ve stood out in the cornfields.
This practical component of the practicum allows these seminarians, many of whom grew up in suburban and urban environments and have little familiarity with rural issues, to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the lifestyle of the rural communities they may very well be serving after their ordinations. So far, the group has visited farms in Belle Plaine and New Prague, Minnesota. They’ve also celebrated Mass at a rural parish and are staying at the beautiful Franciscan Retreat Center in Prior Lake.
It’s a beautiful opportunity to bring together rural life and faith, as evidenced by this moment of prayer on the farm that happened yesterday.
We pray our seminarians have an edifying final day of the Rural Ministry Practicum, and we can’t wait to hear what they thought!