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Diocese Trains Rural Leaders For Discernment, Leadership, Evangelization And Social Justice

We responded to issues facing our rural communities by launching a leadership development institute including training in discernment, servant leadership, evangelization, and parish social ministry. Recognizing the many issues affecting the rural faith communities in the Diocese of St. Cloud—such as fewer priests and parishes, shrinking towns, aging populations, immigration and cultural issues, and declining economic activity—we launched The Rural Life Leadership Development Initiative. Our initiative provides year-long training for select leaders in rural parishes around discernment, servant leadership, evangelization, and parish social ministry.  The training includes listening sessions in each parish to engage our leaders-in-training in community conversations with other leaders, marginalized persons, and civic and business leaders focused on community needs.  So far, we engaged ten parishes in our first year and nine parishes plus a religious community in our second year. We are already seeing the fruits of our labor through greater engagement in evangelization, charity, and justice, and the development of parish teams that can engage the entire faith community in this work.