Recognition Awards

Catholic Rural Life presents two recognition awards on occasion:

1. The first is the Isidore and Maria Exemplary Award for a farm couple who have made exemplary contributions to the achievement of the Catholic vision of a generous, gracious and pious rural life.

2. The second is the Archbishop O’Hara Advocacy Award for Rural Ministry. This award is for a priest, religious or layperson who has excelled in service and advocacy to rural communities.


I. Isidore and Maria Exemplary Award

The Isidore and Maria Award is given to Catholic Rural Life members whose work through the tradition of Catholic social teaching has led to significant progress toward greater social justice and dignity for rural families and communities.

This award honors a rural couple who exemplify fidelity to a vision and vocation of rural life, which combines family, stewardship and faith.

Isidore and Maria are the patron saints of Catholic Rural Life. They were a prayerful couple, devoted to the Eucharist, served those in need and loved the work of the earth.

Criteria for Selection: (a) Initiative or leadership in parish activities or rural organizations, (b) Impact on local parish and wider faith community, and (c) How the couple brings to light theCatholic Social Teaching in rural life.

Eligibility for Nomination: CRL member, married and living on the land or in a rural community, and practicing religious faith and a community role model.


II. Archbishop O’Hara Advocacy Award for Rural Ministry

This recognition award honors a leader who is an advocate for rural communities and social justice in the spirit and tradition of Archbishop Edwin V. O’Hara (1881-1956) who founded Catholic Rural Life in 1923.

As a priest, O’Hara was passionate about rural life, social justice and the spiritual formation of Catholics. He eventually became the Archbishop of Kansas City and was a creative, original voice in the American Church whose legacy continues in the voices of leaders befitting this award.

Criteria for Selection: (a) Effectively advocates on behalf of rural communities and (b) exemplifies and effectively articulates Catholic Social Teaching in respect to rural concerns.

Eligibility for Nomination: CRL member, priest, religious or layperson.


Nomination Process for 2017

1) Nominations can be made by a colleague, fellow parishioner, friend or family member.

2) Submit nominations in written form (e.g., Word.doc); describe a nominee according to the Criteria for Selection (above) for one of the two awards. Provide detailed information (750-1000 words):

3) Send your nomination as an attachment to or send a written copy by standard mail to CRL, University of St. Thomas, Mail Number 4080, 2115 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105-1078

4) Deadline for nominations: May 31, 2017. Award recipients will be announced later in the summer.


Previous Award Recipients


+ Isidore & Maria Exemplary Award: Susan Thielen & Family, Dorrance, KS


+ O’Hara Advocacy Award for Rural Ministry: Sr. Terry Martin, CND, Hayesville, NC


+ Isidore & Maria Exemplary Award: Dave and Florence Minar, New Prague, MN

+ O’Hara Advocacy Award for Rural Ministry: Br. Nick Renner, C.PP.S., Carthagena, OH


+ Isidore & Maria Exemplary Award: Ron and Maria Rosmann, Harlan, IA

+ 2012 O’Hara Recipient Sr. Ann DiNicolo, BVM


+ Isidore & Maria Exemplary Award: Scott and Daun Maier

+ O’Hara Advocacy Award for Rural Ministry: Sr. Ellen Lamberjack, OSF


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