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|St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Catholic Church||
As many of you know, when I was assigned to St. Margaret Mary, I thought that it would be the parish from which I would retire. It just goes to show that when you go to work for the Lord, you will never want for surprises.
Though I leave with a heavy heart, I am also enthusiastic about the work of vocations and my new role as Vice-Rector at St. John Seminary. I am so grateful to all of you who have been so gracious these past three years. You have made me a better priest and better person. I will hold you in my heart and prayers and ask that you do the same for me. I always knew that St. Margaret Mary Parish had a special place in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I place you under the protection of that Heart that symbolizes God’s great love for us. Please pray in a special way for vocations and for the seminarians and staff at St. John’s.
I look forward to seeing you at the Fair and along the pilgrim road.
St. John Seminary, 5012 Seminary Road, Camarillo, CA 93012
From Fr. Rowland
The Scripture says there is time for everything. This period 2010-2013 has been a wonderful time in my life and ministry here in St. Margaret Mary Parish Community. I’m eternally grateful to God for making it possible for me. I’m grateful to members of this parish community for accepting me. SMMC is like a home to me. I have always felt inspired by your presence and participation in Church. I have also treasured your prayers, good wishes and moral support. These have successfully seen me through to my studies. Having completed my studies, my ministry here in St. Margaret Mary has also come to end. Sunday July 28th will be my last Sunday. As I prepare to leave, be assured of my prayers.
“I was thirsty and you gave me drink.” Matthew 25:35
In my native village in Nigeria, Umunkume-Umuotunwanyi in Obodo Ahiara, the rural folks suffer a lot of difficulties but the worst among them is lack of decent drinking water. People in my native community still travel several miles on foot carrying heavy containers on their heads in search of drinking water. The only source that is available is a stream that is 10 miles away, which is heavily polluted by industrial and human waste. This lack of clean drinking water has caused a lot of water-borne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, tape worm infestation which leads to untimely death for many people in the community including children. As a child, we used to wake up very early in the morning carrying heavy containers to fetch water for family use before going to school. Having experienced this suffering, it breaks my heart that even in these modern times, people in my community still suffer seriously from acute shortage of potable drinking water.
Being people of faith and moved with pity for the suffering humanity, the words of Jesus above has informed my decision to help my people by sinking a well that will provide potable decent drinking water for a population of 60,000 in my native village. This deep well will also serve neighboring villages and will go a long way towards the eradication of many diseases in my home village and promote hygiene and longevity.
The estimated cost of this well, which will be more that 500 feet deep, together with the geological survey and an underground submersible pump, an electric generating machine and the construction of a 25 foot steel stand that will hold a reservoir of 5,000 gallons of water that will sup-ply water to these rural folks will be $20,000 (drilling, preservation/storage, distribution and power).
As I thank you all for your kindness to me during this period I have lived in your parish pursuing my studies and as I get ready to go back to my native country, I appeal to you all to come to the aid of my native community by making your generous donation to-wards this project. If you would like to donate, please make your checks payable to “St. Margaret Mary Parish” and write “Fr. Rowland’s Water Project” on the subject line and send to the church office.
May God bless you as you help my people.
Fr. Rowland Nwokocha