Sign up for weekly e-bulletins:
Programs > NCRLC Recognition Awards

NCRLC Recognition Awards

Each winter the National Catholic Rural Life Conference gives out two awards. The first award is the Isidore and Maria Award for a farm couple who have made exemplary contributions to the achievement of the Catholic vision of a generous, gracious and pious rural life. The second award is the Edwin Vincent O’Hara Award for Rural Ministry. This award is for a priest, religious or layperson who has excelled in service and advocacy to rural communities.
Isidore and Maria Exemplary Award
The Isidore and Maria Award is given to NCRLC members whose work through the tradition of Catholic social teaching has led to significant progress toward greater social justice and dignity for rural families and communities. This award honors a rural couple who exemplify fidelity to a vision and vocation of rural life, which combines family, stewardship and faith.
Isidore and Maria are the patron saints of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. St. Isidore was born in Madrid, Spain, during the 12th century, and worked all of his life as a farm hand on the De Vergas estate outside of Madrid. He and Maria were a prayerful couple, devoted to the Eucharist, served those in need and loved the work of the earth.
Criteria for Selection
Nominations should address these attributes:
1) Initiative or leadership in parish activities or rural organizations
2) Impact on local parish and wider faith community
3) How the couple brings to light Catholic social teaching in rural life
Eligibility for Nomination
1) NCRLC member
2) Married and living on the land or in a rural community
3) Practicing religious faith and a role model in the community 
Edwin Vincent O’Hara Advocacy Award
This recognition award honors a leader who is an advocate for rural communities and social justice in the spirit and tradition of Archbishop O’Hara.
Edwin Vincent O’Hara founded NCRLC in 1923. As a priest he was passionate about rural life, social justice and the spiritual formation of Catholics. He eventually became the Archbishop of Kansas City and was a creative, original voice in the American Church whose legacy continues in the voices of leaders befitting this award.
Criteria for Selection
Nominations should address how the nominee:
1) Effectively advocates on behalf of rural communities
2) Exemplifies Catholic Social Teaching and articulates how it relates to rural concerns
Eligibility for Nomination
1) NCRLC member 
2) Priest, religious or layperson
Nomination Process
1) Nominations may be made by a colleague, fellow parishioner, friend or family member.
2) All nominations carry the same weight – i.e., a nomination by a bishop is the same as a nomination by a colleague or friend.
3) Nominations must be typewritten, legibly handwritten or completed online (coming soon!). Typed or handwritten nominations can be sent via e-mail to [email protected] or by standard mail to NCRLC, 4625 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310.
4) Nominations are usually due in late January. Please check back often for the exact date.
Recognition of Award Recipients
Award recipients will be:
1) Featured in NCRLC’s Catholic Rural Life Magazine and on the website
2) Publicized in local newspapers and Catholic media
3) Announced during NCRLC’s luncheon at the pre-gathering meeting of the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, D.C., held in early February.


Award Recipients