Since its inception nearly 100 years ago, strengthening the faith in rural America has been a primary mission of Catholic Rural Life.
From equipping the next generation of rural priests through our Rural Ministry Practicum, to forming a knowledgeable and faithful lay leadership with our Life in Christ Program, Catholic Rural Life is uniquely focused on the needs and strengths of people living in the countryside.
Realizing that our Catholic faith has a distinct flavor in rural areas, CRL has created a number of spiritual resources that honor these traditions.
- Catholic Rural Ethic: We believe that farmers and consumers need to be in solidarity. We need to once again know and understand who we are as a people of God. We need to learn again how to share and sustain the common goods of Creation. And what is not a part of creation? What does not fall into the web of life? We believe that all things are a part of creation, all people and all living things are part of one community — the community of Christ, the new creation we seek in our modern lives.
- Isidore and Maria, Patron Saints of Catholic Rural Life: The virtues found in the lives of Isidore and Maria – commitment to family, love for the land, service to the poor and a deep spirituality – are qualities that still can be found in rural America. A free printable of the Litany in Honor of St. Isidore is available for download here.
- Novena to St. Isidore: This Novena to honor St. Isidore is intended for parish and home use. In the church, the leader should be the priest or someone designated by him. In the home, father, mother or child can take the lead. Download a version for easy use.
- Prayers for Rural Families: We believe that farming is a noble profession. The farm home is a most suitable place for a Christian family. The good earth is the greatest material gift of God to man. We believe that in this vocation, country people work closely with God in producing the essential elements of life for all on earth. We believe and hold fast to the spiritual values of the farming vocation and resist the materialism of this age from blinding us to them. Let us pray that through God’s grace we may have wisdom and strength to grow constantly in the virtues necessary for holy rural living.
- Calendar of Blessings: The Church sets aside feast days and liturgical days throughout the year to help us remember and celebrate our spiritual lives. At Catholic Rural Life, we take particular interest in the cycles of nature and seek ways to unite the change of seasons with the constant Word of the liturgy. To that end, we have put together this series of blessings for each month of the year that highlights an aspect of rural life. Free printables of each month’s blessing can be downloaded here.
- Seasonal Prayers: The majority of these seasonal prayers were written specifically for the Rural Life Prayerbook. All these prayers can be used for common family prayer in the home. Many are also easily adapted for use in the parish church, after Holy Mass, in connection with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, on feast days, or at times when specific needs arise. The prayers will also lend themselves to personal meditation. Many of them, even though not so marked, can be used as novena prayers, either publicly or privately.
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