Sowing Seeds for Faith and Growth

For 100 years, the vision planted in Archbishop Edwin V. O’Hara’s heart to help Catholic rural life thrive continues to bear fruit. While rural America’s social, economic and religious struggles have changed over the last century, Catholic Rural Life’s (CRL) ministry remains vital. 

In preparation of our 100th anniversary, CRL has created a five-year sustainability plan to support our mission. The Sowing Seeds of Faith and Growth Comprehensive Campaign will expand and enhance our two core initiatives – the Thrive in Rural Ministry program to help rural pastors thrive in their ministry, and Chapter programs to train and develop Catholic lay leaders to build, celebrate and promote Catholic community. 

Sowing bountifully, we reap bountifully (2 Cor. 9:6).


Celebration Goal: $5 million

Visionary Goal

  • Train 400 additional priests through the Thriving in Rural Ministry Retreat program over the next five years. 
    • They will serve in over 1,000 parishes across rural America, reaching over 200,000 Catholics. 
  • Increase rural chapters to 60 nationwide. Achieving chapter expansion goals means
    • Thousands more of America’s 10 million rural Catholics can work toward a common goal of a thriving Catholic life.  
    • Doubles program support of chapter-based educational and social programs and conferences. 

All gifts above the $5 million Celebration Goal will go towards helping CRL create a Center for Excellence for Rural Ministry to: 

  • Further expand and enhance the Thriving in Rural Ministry program by sharing research and best practices through books, podcasts and interactive websites. 
  • Expand engagement of culturally and ethnically diverse leadership in our rural communities. 

“Catholic Rural Life brings the spiritually of God, the interconnectedness of nature and animals beautifully orchestrated in a perfect and divine way. Like a piece of artwork, when you stop and look at it, you know this is from God, who creates beauty around us.” 

– Adam and Mary Barrett, Farmers, St. Isidore’s Farms

“Catholic Rural Life is a perfect merger of my faith and love of agriculture. I grew up farming and have spent my entire career in agribusiness, so I recognize how critical our rural priests and farm families are to our world. I want everyone to understand where their food comes from and our rural families to know they are appreciated and supported”. 

– Mike Etzel, COE, Cargill 

People love being members of the Catholic Rural Life community.

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