A Sharing of Faith, Culture and Life

Next week, nine parishioners from Kitui, Kenya, will visit parishes in Minnesota as part of a series of exchanges between the Diocese of Kitui and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A recent article in the Catholic Spirit describes this partnership, which began in 2004 as a response to the U.S. bishops’ call for greater solidarity with Africa.

“It will be a sharing of faith, culture and life,” says Mike Haasl, global solidarity coordinator for the archdiocesan Center for Mission.

The partnership also has a strong service component. In an act of solidarity, participants at almost 80 archdiocesan parishes and schools gave up all beverages except for water for two weeks. They then donated the money they saved–about $150,000!–to help finance the construction of a series of dams to provide water for villages in the Kitui diocese. Villagers helped build the dams, stretching the donated dollars even further. This teamwork is especially inspiring as drought leaves more and more Kenyans without food, including in the hard-hit Kitui region.

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