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:
This Easter, we welcome Fr. Silvester Makwali, pastor at our sister parish, Holy Cross Church in Dandora, Kenya. You can read about Fr. Silvester in his own words below. We are happy to welcome him to our sister parish community and we hope to continue our dynamic work in support of the people of Dandora, Kenya!
I am a first born child to my parents. I was born at Timbwa Village in Bududa District of Uganda. Mbale City is our regional town. My grandfather was originally raised as an orphan who later became a catechist. He served Mill Hill Missionaries in that capacity away from home. Later he brought them to our village, gave them part of his inherited land and they founded a Catholic center on our village. This was many years before I could be born. This background together with the responsibilities attributed to a first born child in my culture have strongly influenced my world view. I am to serve others and I trust that God will always enable me through God’s own people of good will.
It feels good for me returning to Holy Cross Parish, I was a pastor shortly after ordination. I now return with lots of experience in ministry and I pray that God helps me to serve the faithful to my best. I left Holy Cross Church here when I was just beginning to grow deeper in our working relationship with St. Monica Church Community. I am so happy to work with St. Monica Church Community. It is my prayer that God’s Power of the Holy Spirit holds us in His love for our two communities to move together along the way to Salvation.
I joined the seminary on completion of my high school studies at St. Peter’s College in 1988. This was a school of first choice because of its catholic foundation by Mill Hill missionaries. I had seminary training both at Queen of Apostles Philosophy Center - Jinja and also Tangaza University College in Nairobi. I finished the training with one degree in philosophy and another in theology. I was ordained a priest on 13th September, 1998. Since then I have gotten a postgraduate diploma in education from Makerere University in Uganda, a Masters’ degree in Educational Administration from University of Portland in the US. My reassignment at Holy Cross Church - Dandora has come when I about to complete a Masters’ degree in Spirituality and Religious Formation at Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
Some of my goals and plans for the Holy Cross Church community are:
-Fr. Silvester Makwali
Congratulations to the 21 athletes of the Race for Veronika’s Place Team for making their running and walking have more meaning than just another race. These 21 people reached out to family, friends and the Community of St. Monica to dedicate their miles to fundraising for Veronika’s Place at our sister parish Holy Cross in Dandora, Kenya.
Veronika’s Place supported by St. Monica Holy Cross Africa Ministry [HCAM] is a food distribution program that supports HIV/AIDS patients in the Dandora Holy Cross Community. The Funds we raise feed over 500 people each month with basic provisions. The men, women and children we help cannot survive their battle with HIV/AIDS even with anti–viral medications, if they do not have nourishing food.
In a proud partnership with the Los Angeles Marathon, Team Race 4 Veronika’s Place has participated over the last 10 years in the full LA Marathon, the Charity Challenge Half Marathon and the LA 5K.
Each mile is dedicated in prayer to the Veronika’s Place beneficiaries.
Full Marathon (26.2 Miles): Barbara Corrigan, Rami Delos Reyos, Tyler Kavanaugh, Freddy Luis, MaryJane Paggao, Anna Rodrigues
Charity Challenge Half (13.1 Miles): Kyle Anderson, Sharon Arnett, Lisa Arnold, Keith Baker, Pilar Collins, Gabriel Gomez, Dennis Hardwick, David Henwood, Katherine Hitchcock, Kristen Hogan, Rachelle Nesgoda, Trevor Rodrigues, Sarah Taylor
Big 5 LA 5K (3.1 Miles): Lamont Dubois, MaryJane Paggao, Christylynn Sahagun
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.
Our primary mission is to support scholarship students and their families in their efforts to break the cycle of poverty. 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! Since 2019, we have supported the local youth through its music and sports programs, notably the Calvary Warriors Basketball Club of Dandora. We have also provided full scholarships to men and women who attend the Vocational Tailoring School at Holy Cross Parish. Over the past twenty years, we have been able to help hundreds of students and many more community members. If you are interested in supporting this mission or learning more, visit or contact us at
*Click on the image below to expand or print!
Our Youth Relief Outreach during the pandemic (starting in September 2020), amounting to nearly $10,000, has reached hundreds of children and their families. We provided monthly distributions of food, essential supplies and rental support to the poorest residents of Dandora. We could not have done this without your generosity.
During this school year, we have provided scholarships to 20 primary school, 17 high school, and 6 tailoring school students, in addition to continued youth outreach, and other efforts to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic to vulnerable children, families and teachers. Thank you!
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 were sewn and distributed for free to parishioners at Holy Cross.
With school closures, we provided $5,000 to support salaries for staff at our sister parish, Holy Cross Parish in Dandora, Nairobi, Kenya. Fr. Luke, the pastor at Holy Cross Parish, used these funds to help with the most urgent needs, which include paying for rent and food.
Veronika’s Place is a food distribution program that supports HIV/AIDS patients in the Dandora Holy Cross Community in Kenya supported by St. Monica Holy Cross Africa Ministry [HCAM].
In partnership with the Los Angeles Marathon, we raise funds to feed over 500 people each month with basic provisions annually. These men, women and children cannot survive their battle with HIV/AIDS even with anti–viral medications, if they do not have nourishing food.
Each year our team of runners and walkers participate in the Los Angeles Marathon 5k, Charity Half, and Full Marathon as team Race 4 Veronika’s Place raising about $40,000.00. So put on your sneakers to run with us, or support us with a donation.
Team Race 4 Veronika’s Place crosses the finish line at the 2021 LA Marathon and LA 5K raising $25,000.00 to feed those in need.
Congratulations to the 19 athletes of the Race for Veronika’s Place Team for making their running and walking have more meaning than just another race.
Veronika’s Place is a food distribution program that supports HIV/AIDS patients in the Dandora Holy Cross Community. The funds raised feed over 500 people each month with basic provisions. The men, women and children we help cannot survive their battle with HIV/AIDS even with anti–viral medications, if they do not have nourishing food.
In a proud partnership with the Los Angeles Marathon, Team Race 4 Veronika’s Place has participated over the last 9 years in the full LA Marathon, the Charity Half and the LA 5K.
This year’s team dedicated each mile in prayer to the Veronika’s Place beneficiaries and Fr. David Ayotte.
Full Marathon: Anna and Trevor Rodrigues, Ferdinel Sabado, Stephanie Murray, Patrick Keeley, Barbara Corrigan.
Charity Half: Kyle Paris, Rachelle Nesgoda, Gabriel Gomez, Ventura Medina, Dennis Hardwick, Rami Delos Reyes, Sharon Arnett.
LA 5K: Keith Baker, Kristen Baker, MaryJane Paggao, Bernette Cabador Staten, Jakub Hlavka, Lamont Dubois
The Trips Committee leads a group of St. Monica Parishioners on an immersive experiential trip to Dandora, Kenya, home of our sister Parish, Holy Cross Catholic Parish Dandora. Travelers have the opportunity to become a part of this amazing, faith-filled community and witness the difference St. Monica's has made in the lives of the people of Dandora. Come and see the school, hospital and church all built with gifts from St. Monica's parish. More importantly come meet, interact with, and find new friends from the Dandora community.
Fr. Bob Dowd (who helped to bring St. Monica's into a relationship with Dandora) wrote: "Every so often something happens to us that changes the way we see ourselves, others and the world around us. The experiences (from the trip) I have in mind are not necessarily pleasant but they are wakeup calls that lead to deeper insight and ultimately help us to grow in understanding, wisdom, and love."
The Trips Committee is committed to creating an experience for all to grow in understanding, wisdom and faith, sharing our blessings with the people of Dandora.
The Trips Committee meets monthly to discuss and plan for the annual trip to Dandora, Nairobi. We are currently planning a trip for June 2022, at the same time we are assessing the impact of Covid and considering contingency planning. Check back often for more updates.
The Medical Committee supports initiatives that help bring sustainable, compassionate, quality healthcare to the Dandora area. Formerly Brother André Dispensary and Visitation Maternity, Brother André Hospital provides services for Maternity, Pediatrics, Gynecology, Orthopedic, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Cancer screening, and many other outpatient health care services.
The Brother André Medical Center recently transitioned to a higher level designation and is now officially called Brother André Hospital.
Brother André Hospital received the 2020 award for Best Faith-Based Organization level 3 Hospital in Nairobi!