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Member Stories

Member Story: Sister Lee Agnes Hodapp


Sister Lee of the School Sisters of St. Francis (Freemont, NE) grew up hearing about NCRLC from one of her catholic school teachers, Fr. Hubert Durrand.  Fr. Durrand was a friend and cohort of Msgr. Ligutti, a long-time director of NCRLC.

Since then, Sister Lee has also attended conferences hosted by NCRLC while doing family ministry in rural areas. Throughout her career, she aspires to bring prayer and hope to rural families. The NCRLC website features several rural focused prayers written by Sr. Lee. 

"Why do I give to NCRLC? Because I believe in your mission and I want to do what I can to support NCRLC. It feeds me. NCRLC reflects on rural issues and provides resources for rural people. “




Member Story: Father Iain Highet

Fr. Iain Highet is the chaplain at the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis and parochial vicar of two parishes in Bethlehem Conn. He shepherds his people with a unique eye for the land given his previous profession as an environmental consultant. This experience has given him a unique perspective on the relationship between faith and the land. 

His first exposure to the National Catholic Rural Life Conference and the Catholic Rural Life magazine was through the nuns of the Abbey.  Since then he has become a member himself and continues to utilize the magazine and E-bulletin. “NCRLC has helped me because the areas [NCRLC] deals with, liturgy and the land and how they connect, are very key to being Catholic. We need one for the other.”

When asked why he gives to NCRLC, Fr. Iain replied, “I believe in the mission [of NCLRC] and in supporting Catholic stewardship principles in rural communities.  I hope [my contribution] can help with communications, especially about the importance of local food systems and Catholic approaches to these.”


Fr. Iain has some emerging ideas of his own for encouraging Catholic stewardship principles but he is also excited to support NCRLC as they pursue the same vision.  “I benefit from the articles and I know that my contribution supports a good work.”



Member Story: Stan Fitzgerald


NCRLC member, Stan Fitzgerald of San Jose, California, has been a faithful supporter of NCRLC for almost 8 years.  He first heard about NCRLC while attending the Social Ministry Gathering held in Washington D.C. every year.  With his interest in all aspects of social justice, including food and farming, he has found NCRLC materials to be valuable.


“NCRLC keeps me well informed on this segment of Catholic advocacy.  Your materials on "Eating is a Moral Act" have been helpful to me in my advocacy and teaching roles.”


Although retired from his work in Human Resource management, Fitzgerald continues to be an active participant in issues of social justice on a parish, diocesan, and national level.  He also continues to be a strong supporter of NCRLC’s efforts. “In a small way, I hope to help sustain NCRLC in their important work.”




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