Holy Cross Parish, Dandora

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DSCF0682Like many churches, Holy Cross Parish in Dandora, Nairobi, Kenya, is more than a place for Catholics to attend Mass on Sundays. It is an oasis of peace, hope, spiritual support and fellowship in a community plagued by poverty, high unemployment, violence and some of the worst levels of pollution in the world. The parish campus is a dynamic gathering place for students, small faith communities, choirs and other community groups.

The church building – a three-walled shack with a seating capacity of about 200 – is inadequate to meet the needs of a parish that has grown exponentially in the past decade. People spill out into the streets and alleys nearby during Mass.

As part of its outreach efforts, Holy Cross Parish sponsors the Boma Rescue Center, where children can both play and learn; a health clinic; a volunteer counseling and testing center; and a sewing school. The church also provides food and clothing for local residents and helps to rebuild homes of the elderly.

St. Monica and Holy Cross

To better meet all of the various needs of parishioners, Holy Cross decided to build a new church and St. Monica has committed to making it become a reality.

Holy Cross Parish, Dandora, Nairoi, KenyaHoly Cross Parish has been the sister parish of St. Monica Catholic Community in Santa Monica, Calif., for more than a decade. The goal of St. Monica is to help Holy Cross Parish raise the funds to complete the first phase of construction of a new church in Dandora.

The estimated cost of construction for phase 1 is $1.064 million. To date, the Holy Cross Parish family, made up of the poorest of the poor in Dandora, donated about 70 percent of the $625,000 raised thus far for the project. In order to finish phase 1 by its Aug. 14, 2014, deadline, $439,000 is still needed.

Time is of the essence. Construction needs to be completed by the start of the rainy season in November.

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