Rural life is still the backbone of America, says Jim Ennis
Written by Sue Barry, Catholic Herald Correspondent   
Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 -- 12:00 AM
rural life group
Attending the talk by Jim Ennis, third from left, in Dodgeville are, from left: Tom Nelson, rural service coordinator for the Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison; Fr. Bernard Rott, diocesan rural life spiritual director and pastor in Dickeyville and Kieler; and Fr. Jim Murphy, coordinator of the event and pastor in Highland and Montfort. (Sue Barry photo)

DODGEVILLE -- “Rural life is still the backbone of America,” said Jim Ennis, executive director of Catholic Rural Life (CRL) and president of International Catholic Rural Association (ICRA), as he addressed a group of about 50 people at St. Joseph Parish in Dodgeville on October 1.

They came out to hear his presentation on a new document The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader: Integrating Faith with Agriculture and the Environment published by the two organizations in November 2016.

CRL is the Catholic non-profit organization serving the rural Church in the United States since 1923. It is headquartered at St. Thomas University, St. Paul, Minn. Ennis has served as executive director since 2008. ICRA is headquartered in Rome, Italy, and was founded in 1962.

Losing family farms

“We are losing our family farms at a staggering rate, but CRL still takes the teachings of Jesus Christ and incorporates them into the goals and mission of the organization to help farmers and ranchers and all those who are associated with agricultural production,” Ennis said. “Where there used to be 10 farms, there now is one,” he said. Some 50 million people still live in rural America.


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‘Apple Pie Ambassadors’ welcome new neighbors
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

MONONA -- “Hello, we’re from Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Monona. We understand that you recently moved into the area. We just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood.”

That greeting -- along with an apple pie, a bulletin, and a smile -- are what the parish’s “Apple Pie Ambassadors” have given out nearly 50 times since May.

St. Bernard Church in Watertown reopens after restoration
Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

WATERTOWN -- Watertown Catholics celebrated the grand reopening of St. Bernard Church on September 17.

Boasting an iconic 193-foot steeple since 1873, and celebrated as the tallest structure in Watertown, St. Bernard has been one of the city’s most identifiable treasures.


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