The name of our non-profit organization is Cana’s Promise. Cana’s Promise gets its name from the Gospel passage John 2:1-11, where our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, at the urging of his Mother Mary, preformed his first miracle in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’s first miracle was performed at what is believed one of his disciples’ (St. Jude’s) weddings, where he turned several stone water containers into wine. Also, in the scripture Mary instructed the workers at the wedding to get several stone vessels and said to them “do as he (Christ) commands”. When they did, the water in the vessels were turned into wine. We at Cana’s Promise believe that modern-day miracles are still possible and that each of us can be the miracle being able to transform lives.
Co-Founders Ambassador Bill Todd and Father Kevin Conroy became fast friends when Bill was assigned to Cambodia as the U.S. Ambassador from 2012-2015. At the time Father Kevin was serving as a Maryknoll Associate priest and was beginning a mental health project that reached out to Provinces of Cambodia that had been traumatized by the killing fields. During his 16 years in Cambodia as a Maryknoll Associate priest, he has worked with HIV/AIDS orphans, taught MA in clinical psychology program, served as Maryknoll Country Representative and directed a community based mental health program for the marginalized.
They found that they not only shared a passion of their Catholic faith, but they shared a common interest and passion to try to assist people in need of help in Cambodia where at the time one third of the country’s population made less than 1 U.S. dollar a day and over two thirds of the country made less than $2 U.S. dollars a day. Many people, specially the youth have limited options and need help.
Both Bill and Father Kevin agreed that sometime in the future their goal would be to start a charity to operationalize their calling and live their faith. In April of 2021 Bill’s mother passed away. She was a devout Catholic who believed that you should always offer a helping hand to those in need and help everyone live up to their potential. Witnessing the impact of COVID take its toll around the world and simultaneously witnessing longstanding assistance program funding dry up and end, in places like Cambodia. As a tribute to Bill’s mother, he and Father Kevin decided now was the time to act, so they founded Cana’s Promise.
Cana’s Promise’s Mission is to help our brothers and sisters with basic needs and assist them to make their lives better. Our main focus is to help people and communities, facilitating their livelihood with basic needs and giving them the tools for a brighter future. Cana’s Promise will also work with other Catholic and Christian charities to help better the lives of those in need in Cambodia and around the world.