About Us

Our Mission

The mission of Living Waters International is to procure funds for the support of Roman Catholic missionary and international development projects in Africa and India. This mission arises from faith in Jesus Christ, the belief that He desires that the Gospel be shared with all people, and the belief that He calls each of us to do our part to alleviate human suffering among the poor and marginalized of this world.

Our History

Living Waters International, Inc. was established after two of its founders, Mary S. Zimmerman and Stephen L. Zimmerman, had visited projects of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales and the Holy Cross Sisters in Tanzania, East Africa in 1994. These two founders and representatives from the missionary orders discussed methods for advancing the orders' endeavors. Establishing a not-for-profit corporation based in the United States to solicit funding was deemed to be most effective. Thus, Living Waters International, Inc. was established.

Non Profit

Living Waters International, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1996 in the Green Bay Diocese of Wisconsin by Karen and Brian Prunty of SS. Mary & Hyacinth Parish, Antigo, and Mary and Stephen Zimmerman of St. Wencel Parish, Neva. Living Waters International is listed in the Official Catholic Directory (P. J. Kenedy & Sons, New York). Living Waters International, Inc. is exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code as an organization described in section 501 (c) (3). For more financial information, please visit the Documents section below.

Awards & Affiliations

Living Waters International has been awarded the Independent Charities Seal of Excellence and is a proud member of Christian Charities USA and the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC #: 11412).


Living Waters International's programs address basic human and spiritual needs of the peoples of Africa, South America and parts of Asia. We assist Roman Catholic missionaries and the people they serve. Our programs include student sponsorship and seminarians' support. Our Student Sponsorship Program in not currently assigning new individual students to sponsors, but welcomes donations to schools at the mission sites we support in Africa. These funds will be used to provide assistance for those children in most need. Other projects include: construction of formation houses, school classrooms, student hostels, churches, village chapels, and health clinics; food relief; tuition assistance and teachers' salaries at Catholic schools; religious formation, retreats and support for the daily living expenses of religious; training of lay catechists, housing for the poor; wells; and solar and wind power facilities. The following section highlights our program areas. If you would like more details on some of the programs, please check out our Newsletters.


When a religious congregation goes into an unevangelized part of the world, one of the very first things it must do is establish infrastructure. Living Waters has since the end of the last century, worked with religious congregations in Africa to solicit funds for establishing that infrastructure. Some of the parts of this infrastructure are building parish churches and chapels in the village outstations, convents for Sisters and rectories for men, Catholic schools and student hostels for children, and health clinics. The former provide a place for missionaries to live; the latter meet some of the most basic needs of those living in the communities being evangelized.


Living Waters International supports various religious congregations and diocesan priests and nuns throughout Africa. Initially responding to the call of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales in Tanzania, East Africa, through our time spent in Africa and various contacts made, we now support the religious and the missions where they serve in many countries in Africa, extending from Nigeria in North Africa to South Africa and Mozambique in the south. It is through our support of these religious, through formation of their candidates, spiritual renewal programs and retreats, and support for daily living expenses of food and other basic needs, that they are able to pursue their vocations as religious.

Religious Formation

The intent of any religious congregation upon entering a new unevangelized part of the world is to first introduce the Catholic faith, and to establish strong Christian communities of believers, and to second, educate and form individuals from the native population to take up the mission of evangelizing their own people. It is for this very reason that religious formation of the indigenous populace is such a critical part of any missionary initiative. In many cases, it is the native religious who are more readily accepted by the local people, hence the need to train and form them as early as possible.

Seminarians' Purse

The Seminarians' Purse is an initiative to support future priests of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales in the Province of East Africa. The MSFS began their apostolate in Africa in 1988. The first mission, established in Tanzania, laid a firm foundation that steadfastly grew into the Province of East Africa. Established in 1996, the Province now extends its outreach to seventeen parishes and two sub-parishes in ten dioceses in the three East African countries of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. The province currently has seventy-two perpetually professed confreres, among which are sixty-five ordained MSFS priests from India, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, sixteen of which are native East Africans. These missionaries are involved in parish missions, evangelization, religious formation, formal and non-formal education, vocational training, and social services, including caring for orphans and street children, empowering women, and providing medical services. Soon after arriving in East Africa, the MSFS began to promote native vocations to the priesthood. Many young men have responded to God's call. The MSFS Junior Seminary was established at Kihonda, Morogoro, Tanzania in 1993.

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Stages of Formation

Aspirancy is the first stage of formation where young men who aspire to become priests have their initial formation. It is a period of one year during which the basics of religious and priestly life are taught. Beginning in 2019, the Aspirancy house will be in Lugazi, Uganda.

The Postulancy is the second year of formation. This stage of formation is conducted at the Fransalian Seminary in Ndagani, Kenya. In this second year of formation, those things learned in year one are expanded on and gone into in greater depth.

The Novitiate is a one-year period of intensive formation in which the seminarians are introduced to the Fransalian way of life with its charisms and apostolates. They learn more about the demands of religious life. It is also a period of discernment of their religious and priestly vocation. At the end of the Novitiate year, the seminarian makes a solemn profession of evangelical counsels (vows) and becomes a temporary member of the Congregation of Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales. The MSFS Novitiate House, i.e. the Fransalianum is located at Kibaha in the Dar es Salaam Archdiocese of Tanzania.

Philosophy Studies are for three years. The seminarians are introduced to various philosophies and critical thinking. The MSFS Philosophy program is conducted at the Lumen Christi Institute at Maji ya Chai in the Arusha Archdiocese of Tanzania and is affiliated with De Sales University, Allentown, PA.

The Pastoral Year or Regency is a one-year program in which seminarians join with MSFS priests in various apostolates of the Congregation in parish missions, schools, or formation houses, and learn and experience more about the Fransalian way of life.

The Theology Studies are a four-year program wherein theological subjects are taught, and dogmas and doctrines of the Church are introduced to the seminarians. At the end of the third year, the seminarian makes his Perpetual Profession and becomes a permanent member of the Congregation. He also receives the Diaconate Ordination. At the end of the fourth year, he is ordained a priest of the MSFS Congregation. Theology students of the MSFS reside at the Fransalian Study House in Kola Hills and attend classes at nearby Jordan University College in Morogoro town, Morogoro Diocese of Tanzania.

There are currently sixty-three young African men in various stages of formation to become Missionaries of St Francis de Sales priests in the Province of East Africa. Annual expenses per seminarian are US$2,700 for Philosophy and US$3,000 for Theology, which includes tuition and board.

To support a future missionary priest through the Seminarians' Purse, visit our Donate page. For more information about supporting a seminarian, contact us by any means listed on our Contact page.

Student Assistance

Through the generous donations of individuals, we are able to provide school tuition assistance to many impoverished children in Catholic Mission Schools in Africa. In addition to school fees, support provides for food and other basic necessities for the children and their families.

Other Outreach

It was indeed Christ’s message to all of us that "whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me." (Mathew 25:40).

In so many parts of the lesser developed world and in many parts of Africa, the material and medical needs are great. We, as missionaries and the missionaries we strive to support on the ground in Africa, wish to assist the most vulnerable in African society to meet their most basic human needs. Sometimes this can mean providing food aid for families unable to meet their own needs; sometimes it is assisting in a medical procedure that requires urgent attention for survival and life of a child; and other times it is providing basic shelter or support for securing and storing fresh water for human consumption.


St Norbert Abbey Grant Program

Living Water International’s St. Norbert Abbey Grant Program is financially supported by St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere, Wisconsin and the efforts of Living Waters International, Inc. This grant program assists Catholic religious organizations who serve and minister to the poor in third world countries.

The grants are offered in two funding cycles per year. Foreign Catholic religious may access the grant cycle by completing a Grant Application Request Form (GARF) available by clicking the link below. Once the GARF is completed, email it to: grants@livingwatersinternational.org by the deadline (January 15 for cycle 1, August 15 for cycle 2).

NOTE: Not every submitted GARF may result in a Grant Application due to the merits of the program/project submitted for consideration.

If the GARF is approved, a Grant Application form will be provided to your organization. Foreign Catholic religious receiving an application should carefully complete the application and return it by email before the application deadline (April 24th for cycle 1, November 24th for cycle 2).

NOTE: Not every Grant Application submitted may be funded due to available program funds, and/or the merits of the program/project submitted for consideration.

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Other Pertinent Information

  • Living Waters International will only consider requests that follow the process outlined above.
  • The grant application request form, grant application, and any other documentation must be submitted in English.
  • All financial amounts must be expressed in U.S. dollars.
  • The maximum sum awarded is US$20,000.
  • The money disbursed by Living Waters International must be applied and only applied to the project in the original grant request.
  • Applications that benefit an individual, provide debt reduction, fund operating expenses, or reimburse a prior event/program will NOT be considered.
  • Applications for grants for projects directed to the poor and marginalized, or programs providing significant positive impact to communities receive funding priority.
  • Applications sponsored by members of the St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere, Wisconsin are given special consideration.
  • Grant applications will not be considered from applicants who were awarded grant funding within the previous 12 months.
  • Grants are awarded for a time period of one year only.
  • Do not call or email concerning the status of your application request.

Key Program Dates

Milestone Cycle 1 Cycle 2
Grant Application Request Form (GARF) is available at the website: www.livingwatersinternational.org January 1 August 1
Deadline for submitting completed GARFs January 15 August 15
Living Waters International sends Grant Applications based on the merits of the GARFs February 24 September 24
Deadline for submitting completed Grant Applications April 24 November 24
Living Waters International starts notifying applicants of funding decision July 31 January 31

Getting Started

To begin the process of applying for the Living Waters International’s St. Norbert Abbey Grant Program, click the button below to download the Grant Application Request Form.

The grant application window is currently closed. Please check back between January 1 - January 15 or between August 1 - August 15.

Contact Us


Living Waters International, Inc.
P.O. Box 614
Antigo, Wisconsin 54409

Phone Number

(866) 220-8981