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Rural Life Office transferred to Catholic Charities Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Wednesday, Jul. 08, 2009 -- 12:18 PM

MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison announced that its Rural Life Office has been transferred to Catholic Charities effective July 1.

The Rural Life Office was established in 2008 to provide rural parishes and farming communities of the diocese with advocacy assistance, education, and direct services geared to the needs of rural people. The assistance has ranged from informational programs to promote economic development and preservation of farms to direct assistance for the 2008 flood victims, in collaboration with Catholic Charities.

Tom Nelson
Tom Nelson

Over the next three to four months, Rural Life will be asking people in the rural areas for their input on the most pressing issues affecting them. Some existing Catholic Charities' services, such as the Parish Mobile Food Pantry, may be expanded to more farming communities.

Other initiatives and support services identified through information-gathering meetings will be the basis for 2009 and 2010 operating plans. In addition to program development activities, Rural Life will be seeking additional funding which will be important to the long-term viability of the ministries.

Brian Cain, president of Catholic Charities, expressed his enthusiasm for this addition to the services already in place. “Catholic Charities expanded its rural outreach more than two years ago with the food pantry,” he said. “The disaster relief work we did last year, along with the diocese, made us even more aware of the need for services in the rural areas. We believe we can help and are anxious to get started!”

Tom Nelson, who headed the diocesan Rural Life Office, will serve as the Rural Life coordinator with Catholic Charities. He shares Cain's enthusiasm. “We have great partners in this ministry. Our rural parishes and their leaders are always ready to pitch in and assist along with organizations like the Madison Christian Community Harvest of Hope Fund, the Wisconsin Farm Center, Family Farm Defenders, and the Churches' Center for Land and People. We also have developed great relationships with national and regional organizations with similar goals of serving and supporting the farming community,” said Nelson.

Nelson can be reached at Catholic Charities, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, phone 608-821-3104, or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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