Diocesan Youth To Support Nigerian Students This Lenten Season

January 29, 2018

null      Youth across the Diocese of Des Moines – students in Catholic schools and parish religious education programs – will be using their creativity this Lenten season to raise funds for students about 6,000 miles away in Nigeria.

                During a trip there a few years ago, Bishop Richard Pates visited a high school minor seminary where he found extreme poverty. The Holy Ghost Juniorate’s walls and roof were dilapidated, there were few windows, desks chairs or books available. With no constant power supply, electricity was spotty. Sewage, water and drainage systems all needed to be reconstructed.

            When the bishop returned home, he shared the story of the students at the school and encouraged the youth here to use the Lenten season as a time to support their fellow students in Nigeria. The effort is named “Building the Kingdom.”

            In the last four years, the diocese has sent more than $117,000 with $20,000 sent just last year. With those funds, the school renovated the rector’s quarters, constructed a new building with 20 rooms for students and renovated two blocks of classrooms.

            The rector, Spiritan Father Chris Chukwu sent a note of gratitude to Dr. Tracy Bonday, Des Moines diocesan schools superintendent.

            “I remain ever grateful to Bishop Richard Pates and the entire Catholic faithful of the Des Moines diocese,” he wrote. “May the kind heart of God continue to bless and reward you all.”

       The Diocese of Des Moines includes 80 parishes in 23 counties in central and southwest Iowa.