There was a sadness about him. He was a priest I met while on retreat in the Benedictine monastery of Mount Saviour. He was on retreat like myself. He was from the African nation of Uganda. As often happens on retreat, we started talking during breaks in our silence and meditations. He was responsible for working in a school where many Catholic children were enrolled, many of them orphans. He remarked to me how lucky we were in America. Such a thing like clean drinking water was so plentiful that people just took it for granted. He then shared with me the plight of many of the children of his school. They became sickened and some have died from the polluted water that they had to drink since there was no good clean water to be had.
He told me that there was plenty of clean water but it was buried far below the surface of the land.
We as a parish and as a Christian community have the power to change this. So I asked him to get us some specifications so that we could build for his community a well with a pump attached that could provide water for his whole community and stop the continual loss of health and life.
He sent me the plan, the name of the architect and engineer, as well as an itemized budget for the building of a water-source well for his community and school. With the help of our Propagation of the Faith office, we intend to make this the first project of our Mercy Fund. I only asked of him that it be named "Mary's Well" in honor of our Patroness and that a sign be placed on it saying that this was a gift of the Catholic Faithful of Immaculate Conception Parish, Astoria, New York, United States of America.