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 

Staff/Catherine McAuley Center in Scranton

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

Development Coordinator
Sr. Margaret Burke, IHM
 General Administrative Support/Reception
Tara Gillick
  Bridge and Rapid Rehousing Programs
Sr. Rose Gregorio  Anne's House and Frances Warde House
Brooke Grunza
 Transitional Housing Program
Lisa Heim  
Finance Office
Tara Joyce   Emergency Shelter/Prison Program                Family Support Program
Eileen King  Permanent Supportive Housing for Families
Joe Maus Maintenance
Sr. Margo McCormick, IHM  Grantwriter
Diane Troiani  Permanent Supportive Housing for Individuals
Barbara Zigmont  Finance Office

Staff/Catherine McAuley House in Plymouth

Sr. Breige Lavery, RSM  Caseworker
Sr. Kathleen Smith  Coordinator
Denise Atcavage   Housekeeper/Overnight Supervisor