"The Church offers her maternal care to all children and their families, and she brings them the blessing of Jesus." -- Pope Francis
Imagine the hopelessness you would feel if you were unable to provide your children with basic necessities, like clean water and hygienic bathroom facilities.
Imagine the heartache and pain of watching your children constantly fall sick because you lacked purified water.
For thousands of families on the island country of Madagascar, no imagining is necessary -- this is their reality. Though surrounded by water, access to clean water for washing, cooking, and drinking is scarce. Thousands of children in this country die of water-borne illnesses every year.
Sister Rose Rasoavololona runs a Catholic school on the east coast of Madagascar. The dirty surroundings are a constant spreading ground for disease. Thanks to help from donors to The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Sister Rose has been able to build six water pumps and eight toilets at the school; this provides clean drinking water, essential hygiene, and sanitation for children and their families.
Sister Rose says, "Many students were falling sick all the time. Now, I see great changes in the children. Being able to wash themselves and keep clean has increased their self-confidence and eagerness to learn."
While Sister Rose needs our help to provide natural water for the children of Madagascar, she also requires support to give them Living Water gained through spiritual activities. Having dedicated her life to spreading the Gospel, Sister knows the hope and love that strong faith in Jesus Christ brings to life. To share it with the children, Sister needs Catholic religious education materials, such as bibles, classroom posters, and catechism lessons to help form the young ones in Christ's name.
There are countless children, in Madagascar and other mission countries, who are waiting for missionaries to bring them life-saving clean water. They also wait to be saved from the spiritual dryness that choke a community.
When you offer $50 to the missions, you provide religious education materials to a class of children. With your gift of $100, a Religious sister's monthly stipend is paid, allowing more children to hear the Good News. When you donate $1,000, you help a mission village receive the gift of clean water from a missionary.
Together, with your generous support, we can give the children of the missions clean drinking water as well as the Living Water they so desperately need everyday.
- Maureen Crowley Heil is Director of Programs and Development for the Pontifical Mission Societies, Boston.