Sacred Heart Parish Twinning - History

In May 2003, as part of the parish survey completed at all Masses, a majority of worshipping  parishioners indicated their anxiousness for the Sacred Heart Parish to twin with a Third World Parish. In October 2003, when the same survey was taken with Sacred Heart Parishioners in the local secondary schools, two thirds of teenagers were in favour of a twinning project.

Over time, a number of different options were examined by both the Parish Pastoral Council and the Youth Council and in late 2006, the
parish of Zwelihle, South Africa was chosen.

The principal reason for this choice is that Michael Deegan, a Waterford man from Marian Park, and his wife Debbie are very involved with the St Vincent de Paul Society that works in the township of Zwleihle. Since 2004, the proceeds of the Parish Carols by Candlelight Service have been given to them to help with their work in the township.  Each year, we have received very detailed feedback as to how the money is spend i.e. the number of pairs of shoes, school uniforms bought etc.

The direct contact from a Waterford Parish to a Waterford couple in Zwelihle, guarantees that 100% of the monies donated for twinning projects go directly to the chosen project- there are NO administration costs, either in Waterford or South Africa and there will be none in the future.

Together with the St Vincent De Paul group in Zwelihle, we have identified a number of areas where financial assistance will create significant, life changing opportunities for the people of the township.


To date, we have given €45,000 to fund their ongoing projects e.g. feeding families, paying for uniforms and shoes.