Honoring Mothers at Home and In the Missions

In many countries in the missions, women are responsible for the daily collection of water used by their family. Sometimes, they must walk miles to do so. Think of the difficulty of the return trip. A gallon of water weighs just over 8 pounds; imagine carrying enough water for your whole family for miles. The UN estimates that every day in this world, women and girls spend about 200 million hours doing just that.

Often the water they gather is dirty, contaminated with various bacteria. These mothers face an awful choice -- certain death without water or the risk of serious illness, while lacking access to medical care. Every sixty seconds on this planet, some mother's child dies from a water borne illness.

The Pontifical Mission Societies (TPMS) is working to change this story for women in the missions. With help from TPMS donors, bore holes, wells, and water pumps were installed at local churches providing women with a safe, central place to access clean water. At the Cathedral Parish in the Apostolic Vicariate of Isiolo, Kenya, two such water pumps have been installed thanks to our donors. Three parishes in the Archdiocese of Blantyre, Malawi now have boreholes and water pumps as well. Two deep wells were dug at a parish in the Diocese of Maliana, Timor. Each of these projects cost $10,000 or less. The value added to the lives of the local women is without measure.

As we approach the celebration of Mother's Day, honoring the love and sacrifice that our own mothers have given us, please consider honoring mothers in the missions as well by enrolling your mother, living or deceased, as a member in The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, one of our four Societies. For an offering of $10, your mother will receive the graces from a novena of Masses celebrated by a mission priest for all the mothers enrolled. If you are blessed to have your mother with you to celebrate the day, you may choose to present her with one of our beautiful cards. Mothers who have been born into eternal life may also be enrolled, with the same spiritual benefits.

Enroll all the women you love: Moms, Grandmas, Godmothers, caretakers, aunts, sisters, cousins, and friends by calling 617-542-1776, emailing us at ppuliafico@propfaitboston.org or going to our website: www.propfaithboston.org. A pop-up box will direct you from there!

Mothers everywhere -- including this one -- are grateful for your prayerful support.

NB: Can you fund a whole water project? Email me: mheil@propfaithboston.org

- Maureen Crowley Heil is Director of Programs and Development for the Pontifical Mission Societies, Boston.