The town of Abita Springs, Louisiana was built in the early 1700’s around the healing spring waters that naturally flowed from the ground there.
On March 3, 2013, a group of young girls from the St. Jane de Chantal Catholic Church’s CA.T.F.I.S.H. Club sought to bring life-giving water to the village of Rabachea, Ethiopia, over 8000 miles away. CA.T.F.I.S.H., which stands for “Catholic T’weens Faithful in Serving Him”, is comprised of children in grades 4, 5, and 6 who want to actively live out their Catholic faith through service to God and their community at large.
The girls had been learning about the work of missionaries at their meetings, so it was only natural that their efforts become directed toward the global community. What touched their hearts the most was the fact that girls their own age lacked many of the things they take for granted, such as clean water and access to healthcare and education simply because of where they were born.
Out of this awareness the group’s Lenten Solidarity Walk “Carry My Bucket” was created. Members, their families, and parishioners, including St. Jane’s CYO Group and Respect Life Group, formed teams.
Each team was asked to commit to walking the same number of miles with the same amount of water that the average girl in an undeveloped country carries daily, approximately 40 lbs over a distance of 4 miles. Fifty people turned out for the walk and as a whole, the group carried 508 pounds of water over a distance of 163 miles.
A simple meal of beans, rice, and water was shared at the end. Parishioners and members of the community at large who were unable to attend the walk made contributions as well.
When all was said and done, the CA.T.F.I.S.H. Club was proud to be able to raise $2267.00 for the water improvement projects being completed by Catholic Relief Services in Rabachea.
CRS Relationship Manager, Martha Gaynoe, who happened to be in the nearby town of Covington to speak at St. Joseph’s Abbey on March 15 , was able to visit with the girls and talk further with them about the work that CRS does.