Over 92 years ago, Archbishop Edwin V. O’Hara had a vision.

Through his study and work in rural communities, he saw that the rural Church was underserved in terms of priests, churches, hospitals and Catholic schools. O’Hara felt this was part of a pattern of overall neglect of the social, economic and religious problems of rural Catholics. His passion for rural life and his commitment to the rural Church in the countryside gave birth to Catholic Rural Life. His legacy continues today, as CRL works to strengthen the faith of those in the countryside.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, a great admirer of Archbishop O’Hara’s work, once said, “…rural areas deserve special attention, because in these places you find the strongest families and people who take their faith very seriously. There’s a rhythm of life that is conducive to spiritual vitality in the heartland and in the countryside. So if we’re going to be serious about evangelization, we have to strengthen what we have there, because most of our evangelizers come from there.” Catholic Rural Life takes evangelization seriously, and recognizes that a “one size fits all” approach does not always value the richness of rural America.

There are unique needs and challenges present in rural areas, and that’s why Catholic Rural Life was created—to address and minister specifically to the faithful in the countryside.

To that end, we have spearheaded a number of programs designed to tap into and nurture that “spiritual vitality in the heartland and in the countryside.” From the Rural Practicum designed to give seminarians insight into the needs of rural parishes, to our “Life in Christ” program used to teach and train laypeople, Catholic Rural Life is meeting the challenges our founder identified almost 100 years ago.

Continuing the legacy that Archbishop O’Hara began, we are happy to announce the Archbishop Edwin V. O’Hara Legacy Society. This Society was created to recognize donors who have named Catholic Rural Life as a beneficiary of their will, trust, annuity, life insurance policy, or retirement assets. In recognition of their generous commitment to the long-term sustainability of CRL, members will receive a framed certificate, are honored in our Annual Report (with permission), and are remembered in the prayer intentions at our annual CRL Legacy Society Mass celebrated by the bishops seated on our Board of Directors. In addition, members of the Edwin V. O’Hara Legacy Society will have the satisfaction of knowing that their gift will support the Church across the countryside for years to come.

A planned gift is an extraordinary way to leave a lasting legacy to honor you, your family, or your community. Continue the tradition and join Archbishop Edwin V. O’Hara by investing in the future of Catholic Rural Life.

The heritage we cherish and respect is worth preserving and passing on to the next generation.


To learn more about designating Catholic Rural Life in your estate plans, benefiting you, your family and rural communities across the country, please contact:

Peg Louiselle
Director of Development, Catholic Rural Life
Office 651-962-5955 • Mobile 952-457-9731
Peg@CatholicRuralLife.org