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Sister Water Committee Members Sheri Hosek and Brian Gilligan and Sister Water donors Rudy and Sherry Tekippe (back right corner) celebrate with villagers at the site of water pump in Morogoro, Tanzania, Africa in June 2014.

About the Sister Water Project

In 2004, the Sisters of St. Francis, with support from their associates, instituted the Sister Water Project to bring safe water to villages in Tanzania and Honduras.  The sisters spent months studying, discussing and praying about global water issues to fulfill their mission statement of "living in right relationship with all of creation."

The initial goal for the Sister Water Project was to raise $40,000 to help the people of Tanzania, where some women walk miles to find water and where waterborne malaria kills many children; and also Honduras, where 50,000 young children die every year from water-related illness and where most illness in the country is due to impure water.  "One of the primary principles of Catholic social teaching is the dignity of every human being," said Sr. Rita Goedken, who was part of the initial focus group for the project.  "Providing everyone with the basics of life is at the core of our faith."

Thanks to the support of Safe Water for Life and Dignity (SWLD), the Congregation of the Humility of Mary, Holy Spirit Sisters, Salvatorian Missions, and Dubuque Rotary Club and many, many donors, the Sister Water Project has raised more than $600,000 and completed/restored over 60 well projects in Tanzania and several rural water systems in Honduras. 

And the work continues.  "This is not the time to abandon our commitment to those who still live without clean water," said Sister Water Project Committee Member Sr. Carol Besch.  "We are not going to rest on past successes.  We are confident that God is still doing something new in us."  

How you can help

We ask you to please consider a gift to the Sister Water Project.  Click here to donate online or mail your donation to The Sisters of St. Francis, c/o Sister Water Project, 3390 Windsor Ave., Dubuque, IA 52001-1311.

Completed Projects
As of March 2015, we have completed/restored over 69 well projects in Tanzania and two water systems in Honduras.  To see a complete list of where our projects are located, click here.

For more information
Want more information about the Sister Water project?  Contact Sr. Kathy Knipper at or (563) 583-9786. 
The singular, overall goal of the Sister Water Project is to help provide sustainable water accessibility to people in Honduras and Tanzania. 
Srs. Kathy Knipper, Theresa Jungers, Carol Besch and Associates Sheri Hosek, Nancy Knipper, and Brian Gilligan.
For more information on the Sister Water Project contact:

Sr. Kathy Knipper, OSF

3390 Windsor Avenue

Dubuque, Iowa 52001-1311


Mother Earth
Catholic Sisters for a Healthy Earth, an environmental group comprised of eight women religious congregations have created the booklet "Earth as Our Home," which offers tips for living more sustainably with the planet.  The booklet offers reflections centered in every room of the house -- from the front porch, through the backyard, to the attic -- that instructs and informs how humans manage the household known as Earth.  Download it here.

The group have also released a prayer service to be used in connection with the "Earth as Our Home" reflection booklet.  The service includes suggested adaptions designed for the unique needs of various groups: communities and families alike. It can be used as a physical pilgrimage – moving from room to room of a home – as well as a guided meditation, either alone or in a group.  Download it here.



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