Since 2002, St. Monica Catholic Community has enjoyed a sister relationship with Holy Cross Parish in Dandora, Kenya, creating avenues of mutual support and opportunities for prayer and service with one another. The Holy Cross Africa Ministry team coordinates various activities throughout the year including speaker nights, fundraising events, prayer and worship experiences in order to raise awareness and advocate for the spiritual, educational, and health needs of our sister parish.
Make a gift to any of these three areas:
Our team has partnered with the Los Angeles Marathon since 2013; we have been able to reach or surpass our fundraising goal of $40,000 every year! This surplus has been extraordinarily crucial this past year: we have been able to support Veronika's Place food distribution with additional supplies in order to provide for an even larger number of people in Dandora. Thank you to all our past runners and walkers, and all of our financial and prayer sponsors!
We are now building a team for the 2020-2021 Races! Most of the world has experienced canceled or delayed events. Some have gone virtual. If you have not been in a live race, perhaps this is the one to join! We race for a community over 9,000 miles away. We race for the most needy in an area that experiences, even in traditional times, up to 40% unemployment. We race for people that are stigmatized for a disease that can be managed with medicine and proper nutrition - which is not easy to procure without our support.
We have a goal to recruit runners and walkers for more than just a marathon. You will train for your race, while also advocating for the poor. You will collect financial and prayer sponsors for this most worthy cause. You will complete the distance of 5K (3 miles), Half-marathon (13.1 miles), or Marathon (26.2 miles). A full marathon takes dedication that very few achieve, but by the grace of God, the prayers from our friends, and the commitment to train, our team together has completed our financial and distance goals every year and we will support you in this endeavor!
We pray that you will consider racing with us for the 2020-2021 Events!
Saturday, April 17, 10 a.m.
Join our Team Leads Anna and Sharon on Facebook at as they share about their past race experiences and a bit of training. Training will start with an easy 1 to 3 mile walk or jog. Your pick!
You can also tune in to just get information and support the cause by volunteering, sponsoring a walker or runner or praying for us.
The mission of St. Monica Holy Cross Africa Ministry is to share, pray, learn and join with our sister parish, Holy Cross Dandora, in their mission to “humanize city life and help people recognize their God given dignity” (Rev. Bob Dowd, CSC)
Please find below updates on what is happening in our sister parish in Dandora and how our ministries in collaboration with Holy Cross Catholic Church are faring.
Our Holy Cross Africa Ministry also offers a wide variety of ways that you can participate in the ministry. Details below.
The mission of the Holy Cross Africa Ministry Education Committee is to support scholarship students and their families in their efforts to break the cycle of poverty. Donations fund scholarships for over 30 disadvantaged, yet promising youths in the Dandora community. The scholarships cover tuition, books, and meals for Nursery and Primary Schools. Our scholarship commitment to these children extends all the way through high school.
In addition to scholarships, donations from St. Monica parishioners have provided funding for books, education supplies, projectors, sewing machines and so much more!
We look forward to continuing our partnership with our brothers and sisters in Dandora in an effort to provide a high quality education in a safe learning environment. If you are interested in supporting this mission through donations or otherwise, please contact our Education Committee at
We provide full scholarships to men and women who attend the Vocational Tailoring School at Holy Cross Parish. The three-year program for tailoring students teaches a trade that allows them to seek quality employment and provide a better life for their families.
Concerned with the spread of COVID-19 in Kenya and wanting to provide employment for parishioners of Holy Cross St. Monica Holy Cross Africa Ministry Team just approved a donation of $2,700 to fund the making of face masks by the tailoring students. 14,000 cloth masks are being created and will be distributed for free to parishioners at Holy Cross.
The Holy Cross Africa Ministry (HCAM) recently approved sending $5,000 from the team's General Fund to support salaries for staff at our sister parish, Holy Cross Parish in Dandora, Nairobi, Kenya. During the pandemic, St. James School has been closed and all but a few essential parish staff have been staying home. The Holy Cross Mission Center at Notre Dame has provided funds for very limited salaries for parish staff (between 30% and 50% of their normal salaries) for the months of April, May and June. The HCAM Core Team voted to provide $5,000 that Fr. Luke, the pastor at Holy Cross Parish, will distribute to staff members with the most urgent needs, which include paying for rent and food. The HCAM Core Team will continue to monitor the situation in Dandora and may send additional funds based on the needs of our sister parish.
Veronika’s Place is a food distribution program at our sister parish, Holy Cross Church in Dandora, Kenya, that supports 500 men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS in the parish and local community.
In spite of the challenges with COVID-19 Veronika’s Place monthly food distributions continue because it gives food to the most vulnerable, Their antiretrovirals will only work with adequate nutrition.
The monthly food distributions are entirely funded by St. Monica. For May, June and July, St. Monica’s Holy Cross Africa Ministry (HCAM) has sent our sister parish additional money to increase the monthly food distributions in these so difficult economic times in Nairobi. Faith Kago (parish social worker) and her many volunteers have been courageous in distributing the food. For the May distribution, beneficiaries were given cloth masks (funded by St. Monica) and social distancing was practiced to protect both beneficiaries and volunteers.
Veronika’s Place food distributions are supported by the funds raised each year by St. Monica’s team of runners and walkers participating in the Los Angeles Marathon (Race 4 Veronika’s Place).
HCAM Race for Veronika's Place
Earlier this year our Race 4 Veronika’s Place team raised $47,031 (exceeding our goal!) through the Los Angeles marathon. Thanks to all of our runners, walkers and 525 donors!
Special kudos to the following:
Asante Sana, thank you, to all!
The ministry organizes trips to visit our sister parish in Dandora, Kenya, offering parishioners an opportunity to meet face to face with our brothers and sisters, witnessing the progress of joint projects, and participation in prayer and worship activities together. So far, over 170 St. Monica travelers have experienced the beauty of Kenya and the faith of her people.
A special message for Summer of 2020
It is with deep regret that Monsignor, the Africa Ministry and the Trip's Committee have recently decided to postpone the Africa 2020 trip to Kenya and to our sister parish in Dandora. There is a possibility of a smaller group traveling sometime in the fall.
This decision wasn’t taken lightly and there was robust debate on whether or not to proceed...and when. Weighing all the benefits as well as the downside of postponing now - rather than deciding next month - we felt this was the best way to care for our sister parish in Kenya as well as our travelers. Indeed we still do not know the possible extent of the virus in Dandora although, to date, there have only been 303 cases reported in all of Kenya (including 14 deaths). When the pandemic would reach its peak there and how long the recovery would take all factored into our decision. As of now the borders are still closed to all international flights and travel."
We hope to reschedule. Watch for future announcements.
Each year our parish travelers bring back wonderful crafts, treasures and handmade gifts from Kenya – in fact, many of the items are handmade by the Dandora Catholic Handcraft Group, the local trades association at our sister parish, Holy Cross Church. We sell these items a few times a year after Masses at St. Monica, with all proceeds benefitting Holy Cross Dandora Parish. We invite you to get involved in any of the following ways: marketing and arranging the items, helping with after-Mass sales, and giving feedback about the types of crafts to bring back next time.
The Building Committee of HCAM supports infrastructure projects at Holy Cross Parish. In the past, the Building Committee has sponsored the building of classrooms at St. James School and the drilling of a borehole to create a well that provides fresh water to thousands of residents of Dandora. (dedicated in 2006).
Like most institutions worldwide, Brother Andre Medical Center suffers the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. After a two month hiatus, the Medical Center’s 24-hour patient services is gradually resuming. Besides maternity, patient services were suspended due to a government imposed curfew and drastically reduced numbers. Staff reductions and salary cuts depress a community already on the margins. Despite these challenges the Visitation Maternity Hospital is also a place of joy as baby girl triplets were born on April 17 at the Clinic, and were placed in incubators. Mother and babies are in good health and have just been sent home.