CNS is running a series of stories and photos on the impact of the economic crisis on the rural life in the Midwest and on the church itself. But we aren’t the only ones taking a hard look at what is happening in the American rural lands.
Since 1939, the Glenmary Home Missioners have ministered to rural communities from West Virginia to Florida to the Southwest. In this month’s issue of the Glenmary Challenge, Glenmary Brother David Henley photographs and writes about how a small Glenmary mission, St. Andrew in Danville, Ark., pulled an entire community together to set up an emergency pantry and other assistance for the locally unemployed after the town’s main industry, the Petit Jean Poultry plant, shut down last January. Read the story, “Difficult times; Extraordinary Response.” For many residents, it was the first time they had ever set foot in a Catholic church.
After reading about the St. Andrew’s great work, turn to the feature story by Father John Rausch, a Kentucky-based Glenmary Missioner, on the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey and how the lives of the men and women of the Glenmary missions both “reflect and refute” the national trends. Check out “Religious Trends; Unique Challenges.”