About Us


The mission of the Catherine McAuley Center is to directly minister to women and to the economically poor; to provide temporary shelter for women and children in crisis; to assist women in attaining safe, affordable, permanent housing; to provide women support services leading to self-reliance; and to help individuals and families access medical and community resources.


The story of the Catherine McAuley Center began in Dublin, Ireland in 1831 during a time of profound change that would bring to life the vision of one of history’s most remarkable women: Catherine McAuley. By founding the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley extended the Catholic Church’s ministries of healing and teaching to the poor, sick, and uneducated. She shared her vision with other women who embraced her commitment, and together they created one of the largest congregations of women religious ever established in the English-speaking world. This newly formed religious community brought the disadvantaged in Dublin… and later, the world…the incomparable qualities and compassion of Mercy.

The success of the Catherine McAuley Center in Northeastern Pennsylvania is due in no small measure to the vision of its foundress Sr. Anne Paye, RSM, who became aware of the crisis in housing for women and children in 1979. By 1983 Sister Anne joined with two other Sisters of Mercy, Sister Dorothy McLaughlin and Sister Elizabeth Brandreth, and they created an environment to assist women with housing in the Scranton area.

The first step began with the Sisters moving into the former St. Joseph Lithuanian Convent in North Scranton where they shared their extra bedrooms with women in need of shelter. From a modest beginning on September 1, 1984, when the Sisters accepted their first guest, a new ministry developed in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties. The Catherine McAuley Center was formally incorporated in 1985 and is a sponsored work of the Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community. 

Since its inception in 1984, the Catherine McAuley Center has grown dramatically, while its commitment to caring for homeless women and children remains as strong as ever.


Individuals and organizations are invited for tours of the Catherine McAuley Center and our facilities. The Center serves as a host site for membership meetings of local school groups, as well as civic and business associations that are interested in learning more about our programs and services. The Center seeks to promote active community involvement through volunteerism, contributions, and participation in special events.

Catherine McAuley Center Board of Directors FY 2018/19

Mary Griffin Cummings, Esq., Chair
JoAnn Jones, Treasurer

Sally Alinikoff
Sr. Mary Ellen Brody, RSM
Judith Burkavage
Stephen H. Franko
Anne Paone Gallagher
Sr. Dorothy Hagan, RSM
Julie Jordan
Sr. Angela Kim, IHM
Cheryl McCann
Patrick McMahon
Barbara O'Donnell
Krista Somers
Carlie Wetzel 

Catherine McAuley Center staff

Krista Somers   Executive Director
Sr. Susan Hadzima, IHM
Program Director
Sr. Kathleen Smith, RSM   Mission Coordinator
Jenny Blanchard

Development Coordinator

Tara Gillick
  Case Manager, Rapid ReHousing Program
Sr. Rose Gregorio    Case Manager, Single Room Occupancy (Anne's House and Frances Warde House)
Brooke Grunza
  Case Manager, Rapid ReHousing Program
Nicole Guzenski   Case Manager, Permanent Supportive Housing
Tara Joyce   Case Manager, Emergency Shelter (Scranton) / Prison Program 
Eileen King   Case Manager, Permanent Supportive Housing Program for Families
Alicia Grega    Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Lisa Heim  
Finance Office
Barbara Zigmont    Finance Office
Joe Maus   Maintenance
Barbara Lewis    Plymouth Shelter Coordinator
Emilia Rosas   Caseworker, Plymouth Shelter
Sandra Bonawit 
Housekeeper, Plymouth Shelter
Helene Elko    Overnights, Plymouth Shelter
Mike Young   Maintenance, Plymouth Shelter