Ugandans will get fresh water and cattle, thanks to Holy Cross Church

by Paul Braun | New Earth

Townspeople get their drinking water from the same source used by cattle and other animals. Holy Cross Church in West Fargo is raising money to provide fresh water wells to residents of Uganda. (submitted photo)

In Uganda, fresh water wells are a luxury and difficult to find. Some residents of the impoverished African nation spend two to six hours daily just carrying fresh water. Parishioners at Holy Cross Church in West Fargo are doing what they can to help.

Willie Gartner and Jonathan Ahl, parishioners of Holy Cross, wanted to get the parish involved with a service project that would affect the lives of as many people as possible. After speaking with Father Andrew Obal, a priest at Holy Rosary Church in Detroit lakes, Minn. and a native of Sedna, Uganda, they presented a plan to Holy Cross pastor Father James Meyer to work with Father Obal on his water well project.

“We decided we wanted this to be a parish-wide project and get everyone involved,” said Gartner. “We had the Catholic Daughters, Knights of Columbus, Women of the Word, American Heritage Girls, Trinity School students, and children of Holy Cross Church work on the project. The biggest fundraiser was our Wild Game Feed which was a fantastic parish event. That put us close to the $10,000 we needed for the project.”

At each Mass, children at Holy Cross donate change and dollars to the project, which has become so successful that enough money was raised to also provide some cattle to the community receiving the wells. As the cattle procreate, their calves will be distributed to families within the community. Father Meyer likes to say at Mass when talking about the project that “we’re all going to become ranchers.”

Father Obal will be going home to Sedna, Uganda for vacation in May, and will be presenting the people there with the money for the wells and cattle.