Rochester, Penfield parishes will help build wells in Sudan - Catholic Courier

Rochester, Penfield parishes will help build wells in Sudan

Rochester’s Our Lady of the Americas Parish is joining an international effort to bring clean drinking water to a war-torn region of southern Sudan.
Our Lady of the Americas, which comprises Corpus Christi, Holy Redeemer/St. Francis Xavier and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel churches, became a single parish in June 2007 and was officially blessed by Bishop Matthew H. Clark last Dec. 23. The new parish is partnering with St. Joseph Parish in Penfield in an effort to raise money for the locally based charity Water for Sudan.
As one of the first events in its Sudan fundraising efforts, Our Lady of the Americas hosted a Feb. 15 soup supper that featured a presentation by Carol Snook, a member of Water for Sudan’s board of directors. Parishioners also will be able to donate spare change to the cause, said Joanne Corcimiglia, chairperson of Our Lady of the Americas’ social-justice ministry.
“We will have water jugs in the church where people can throw in their loose change, so they can see how they are helping to purchase a well,” Corcimiglia said.
The project is the first combined effort by Our Lady of the Americas’ social-justice and youth ministries, Corcimiglia noted, and also is the first time the parish has raised money for Water for Sudan.
Raising money for the charity also is new to St. Joseph Parish, said Michelle Castelli, pastoral associate. Fundraising, which will begin at Pentecost and will be led by the parish’s social-ministry and JustFaith groups, is intended to complement Our Lady of the Americas’ efforts, she said.
Water for Sudan was started by local resident Salva Dut, one of thousands of “walking boys” who fled violence in southern Sudan. He traveled and lived in Ethiopia and Kenya with thousands of displaced boys for more than 11 years before he was resettled in the Rochester area. Now an American citizen, Dut was inspired to start his charity after learning that his father had become ill from drinking water contaminated with parasites.
In 2007, Water for Sudan built 10 wells in southern Sudan, bringing its total to 17 wells that serve 51,000 people. The group’s goal, according to its Web site at, is to build 30 to 40 wells in 2008; wells cost about $5,000 each. In 2007, a well was built through donations from parishioners of Rochester’s St. Mary Church.

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