To instill in parishioners of all ages an awareness of, and involvement in, service programs and social justice concerns.


Bereavement Group

What is Bereavement Group?

St. Katharine’s Bereavement Group offers comfort for those who have recently lost loved ones. Many times, the recently bereaved feel the need for someone from the Parish to visit with them and offer support in this most trying time of their lives. This group endeavors to do what they can to let people know that the Parish cares for them.

‘Lord, grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine
upon them’

What are volunteers asked to do?

Help plan and assist at the Anniversary Mass in November.
Act as a bridge between the Parish and the bereaved families on a personal level.
Attend two formal meetings per year.

How do I join?

Contact Maryann Crowe at 610 688 9479.

Social Justice Ministries

Aid for Friends

What is Aid for Friends?

St. Katharine’s is part of a regional network of 10,000 volunteers who provide meals for 3,500 people every day. This ministry provides home cooked meals for shut-ins or people otherwise unable to cook for themselves.

What are volunteers asked to do?

You can prepare meals and put them in the meal trays provided at the doors of the Church, then freeze the meals and return the prepared meals to the freezer in the closet at the back of the Parish Center (has a door to the outside.)
You can sign up to deliver meals to shut-ins in our area.
You can organize a “cook-in” with your friends and neighbors.

How do I join?

Aid for Friends is an archdiocesan wide ministry with central headquarters in Northeast Philadelphia. You can become part of this ministry by Barbara Gallagher at 610 687 6526.

What if I need Aid for Friends to help me?

If you need the help of Aid for Friends, call Barbara Gallagher at 610 687 6526.

Helping Other People in Emergency (H.O.P.E.)

What is HOPE?

Helping Other People in Emergency (H.O.P.E.) is a group of concerned people who are willing to help others. We serve anyone living within the boundaries of St. Katharine’s Parish. Our experience indicates that it definitely is needed. All of us have or will be faced with emergencies at some time, and in our transient society, there are fewer family members available to help us. While there may be neighbors we can count on, situations may arise where we don’t want to impose on them or feel indebted to them. HOPE provides an alternative with no questions asked. While H.O.P.E. was founded with that in mind, it has evolved into a much broader service organization.

What are volunteers asked to do?

Drive to doctor and dental appointments, the bank, the post office.
Prepare meals on an emergency basis.
Do grocery shopping for shut-ins and take others to the grocery store.
Take people to Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, one Saturday or Sunday a month. (For volunteers not available on a Monday – Friday basis.)

How is HOPE organized?

There are eight groups of volunteers who serve for one week each on a rotating basis. Each group has two co-leaders who take all calls for their week and assign the jobs to appropriate volunteers on their list after checking with them on their availability. The volunteer then confirms the details with the person making the request for service.

How do I join?

Call one of the coordinators:

  • Colleen Maguire – 610 688 0551
  • Shauna Munshower – 610 688 4348

What if I need H.O.P.E. to help me?

Call one of the H.O.P.E. Co-leaders for this week which you can find in the Bulletin under Time,Talent,Treasure.

…or call one of the coordinators:

  • Colleen Maguire – 610 688 0551
  • Shauna Munshower – 610 688 4348
  • Contact the Rectory – 610 688 4584

Please let us know as early as possible so we can make the best arrangements for you.

Interfaith Hospitality Network

What is Interfaith Hospitality Network?

The mission of the Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Main Line (IHNML) is to temporarily house people in a caring environment and to support them in accessing community resources including childcare, education, employment and permanent housing. There are 25 religious communities participating in the IHNML: 10 host congregations and 15 support congregations. St. Katharine’s is a support congregation.

Their efforts provide shelter, meals and assistance for up to three families at a time. The families stay with the host congregation for a one week period with approximately 11 weeks between a hosting effort. Family Promise, a social service agency, screens and refers guests to IHN. Individuals with substance abuse or psychiatric problems are not accepted in the program.
Participating congregations furnish sleeping quarters and a hospitality room where guests relax, socialize, do homework and watch television. The host congregation provides the evening meal, breakfast and a bag lunch. In the morning, guests return to the day center in Norristown. From there, children go to school and adults care for young children or to look for jobs or housing.

What are volunteers asked to do?

Volunteer commitment is essential. Program volunteers perform a variety of tasks necessary to provide a safe and comfortable home for our guests. As a host congregation, St. Katharine’s Parish needs volunteers to prepare meals, serve as evening, overnight and weekend hosts, organize supplies and assist guests as needed. Although most hosts are adults, youth (12 and older) can participate as well. Adult volunteers who have contact with the families are required to complete a criminal background check.

Volunteer efforts are needed in the following major areas:

  • Dinner Preparers – Dinner is a hot meal and usually includes a salad, main course with vegetable, and dessert. Meals are brought to the Parish Center at 6:15 PM.
  • Dinner Hosts – (6:30 – 8:30 PM). Two volunteers are needed to help serve a buffet style dinner meal. Dinner hosts eat with the guests, and participate with guests in the after-meal cleanup. After dinner, hosts socialize with our guests.
  • Overnight Hosts – (8:30 PM – 6:30 AM). Two hosts are again needed. Cots are provided. Hosts usually bring their own bedding and pillows. Guests arise about 5:30 AM and must be ready to leave at 6:30 AM after a light breakfast. They may sleep later on the weekend.
  • Supplies – Volunteers are needed to purchase or coordinate donations of groceries needed for breakfast and lunches.
  • Laundry – After each host week, several volunteers wash the bed linens, towels and wash clothes.
  • Setup and Takedown – Volunteer teams setup the Parish Center Sunday morning and help take down and move the beds the following Sunday.

How is IHN organized?

St. Katharine’s IHN program has two coordinators for the volunteer efforts described above.

St. Katharine is currently assisting the host Church, Wayne Presbyterian. The SKS coordinators are Bob and Jane Till. They can be reached at 610 710 6410, or email:

The hosting congregations are:

  1. Beth Davis Synagogue, Gladwyne
  2. Central Baptist Church, Wayne
  3. Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr
  4. Main Line Unitarian, Devon
  5. Our Mother of Good Counsel, Bryn Mawr
  6. St David’s Episcopal, Wayne
  7. St John Neumann, Bryn Mawr
  8. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Ardmore
  9. Thomas of Villanova, Rosemont
  10. Wayne Presbyterian Church, Wayne


There are 15 supporting congregations that assist the host congregations in their efforts.

IHN Headquarters:

Network Headquarters
1449 DeKalb Street
Norristown, PA 19401
610 277 0977

How do I Join?

To obtain more information about IHN or to volunteer, please contact the rectory at 610 688 4584 or email our SKS coordinator, Jane Till  at

For more information, please visit the IHNML website:

Thank you for your interest in this important and rewarding ministry.

Mercy Hospice Casserole Program

What is Mercy Hospice Casserole Program?

In the 1970s homeless women became more visible in the streets and abandoned buildings of Philadelphia. Concerned about this emerging need, Catholic Social Services asked the Sisters of Mercy for their assistance in opening a shelter for women. In 1976 the first shelter was opened at 12th and Sansom Sts. Two years later, Mercy Hospice moved to its present site at 334 South 13th St.

Mercy Hospice is a community grounded in faith and service where homeless women and children can find opportunities for new beginnings. It strives to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and support in which individuals and families can heal and grow in their ability to lead fulfilling, self-sufficient lives.

For more than 20 years, St. Katharine’s has provided assistance and support to Mercy Hospice. They rely on our casseroles to feed 46 women and their children who live there and 100 women who come in off the streets for a hot lunch, a shower, change of clothes and a safe place to rest.

St. Katharine’s prepares and freezes casseroles once a month or donates suggested food which is collected and delivered to the Hospice.

What are volunteers asked to do?

Volunteers can pick up a casserole pan and recipe at the Aberdeen Ave. entrance to the church. St. Katharine’s has specifically designated freezers in its Parish Center where you can deliver your casserole and pickup a pan for the next month.

How do I join?

Please contact Jerry and Kay Lafferty for more information, 610 687 4707.

St. Martin de Porres Outreach

What is St. Martin de Porres Outreach?
St. Martin de Porres Parish, St. Katharine’s sister parish, is located at 24th and Lehigh Streets in Philadelphia. The Pastor is Reverend Stephen D. Thorne who shepherds over 820 families. There are currently 460 children enrolled in the school (K-8) and the principal is Sister Meaghan Patterson, SSJ.

The members of St. Katharine’s work in many ways throughout the year to help support the efforts of our sister parish:

  • Parish feast days are celebrated together.
  • At Christmas, our parishioners “adopt” St. Martin de Porres families and deliver gifts and all the fixings for Christmas dinner.
  • Education of St. Martin de Porres children is assisted through support of their library
  • Funds collected in our monthly Food drive (third Sunday of each month) are shared with St. Martin de Porres parish.

What are Volunteers and St. Katharine’s Parishioners asked to do?

Assist in maintaining an effective library – In 2002, with assistance from both parishes, work began on re-establishing a library that had not been operational for several years. This project included all the work necessary to produce a useful library. In 2005, computerization of the library started. Presently, there are 6,000 volumes on the shelves with another thousand to be entered into the system.

The library is opened twice a week for about three hours each session during the school year. A goal is to have three volunteers each time the library is opened. The volunteers help the children select books, check out books, login returned books, and re-shelf books. Also, for K-2 grades, one or two books are read to the children during the session. Volunteers also help with the preparation of new books.

Future plans include:

  • Classes in library research for older children.
  • Finishing the reference and video sections.
  • Selecting out-of-date books and removing them.
  • Continuing adding new books when available.
  • Assist in loading and unloading the gifts and food for the Christmas program (8-10 persons of high school age). Check the Calendar under St. Martin de Porres for the date and time.

Parishioners are asked to:
Contribute to the Annual Appeal – Father Thorne and the St. Martin de Porres choir visit St. Katharine’s in early May for the Annual Appeal. Father Thorne speaks at all the weekend Masses, giving insight on the status, hopes and goals of his parish.

Donate, on a continuing basis throughout the year, any usable items such as clothing, food and household items. These gifts are delivered to St. Martin de Porres regularly to be distributed to their community.

Participate in the Christmas program:

  • Food Basket – This is a box, available at St. Katharine’s in late November, that is filled with non-perishable items a family needs for Christmas dinner (perishable items are provided with the financial contributions).
  • Adopt-a-Family – Parishioners provide gifts for each member of a St. Martin de Porres family that they “adopt”.
  • Financial Contributions – a collection is taken around the end of November to purchase perishable items that are included in the food baskets.

How is it organized?

Beth Stone is Chairperson for the Outreach activities: Christmas Adopt-a-family Program, Fund Drive and Library Support.

For general information or questions about this ministry, please contact Beth Stone 610 688 8627. To help, you can participate in the activities described above. Also, check the Calendar, under St. Martin de Porres, for events during the year.


Community Building Ministries

Alcoholics Anonymous

Open to the community, meetings are held Friday evenings from 8:00 to 9:00 PM in the Parish Center to provide fellowship for men and woman in their struggle against alcohol. Check the Calendar under AA. Contact the Rectory 610 688 4584.

Blood Drive

Give Blood!

Part of a long-standing tradition at St. Katharine’s, the Bloodmobile visits twice a year (January and June), offering parishioners an opportunity to donate blood to their neighbors. Check the Calendar under Blood Drive. For information, please contact Mary Ann Crowe 610 688 9479.

Hospitality Committee for Newcomers

For Newcommers

This Committee welcomes new parishioners into the parish community. It maintains the new parishioner registration process and the information packet they receive when they register.

Each committee member makes phone calls to welcome the parishioner. It is represented at each monthly Parish Coffee. The Committee meets every 2-3 months to assemble registration packets and distribute new parishioners to call.

For more information, contact Helen Gleason 610 688 0124.

Mother's of Young Children

MOYC is a group for mothers (although, fathers, grandparents, and caregivers are always welcome) with young, preschool age children. It is a parish outreach group so those outside of our parish are also welcome.

The most popular, ongoing event is Playgroup, which occurs every Wednesday from 9:30am to 11:00am in the Parish Center. Playgroup is a time when the kids can play, and moms can catch up and have some social time together. Some examples of other activities of Mothers of Young Children include praying the Rosary before Playgroup, Coffee Nights to discuss a “book of the month”, Running and Walking groups, and Playgroup excursions to fun places like the zoo and the firehouse. During the summer months, we take Playgroup to a local playground on Wednesday mornings.

There are also many opportunities to volunteer one’s time. They include, but not limited to, helping with Interfaith Hospitality Network, putting together meals for Aid for Friends, visiting nursing homes, hosting parish coffees, providing meals to families with new additions, and taking part in the parish children’s liturgies.

If you would like to join or take part in any of the activities, contact Elise Parisi at

All are welcome!

Parish Coffee's

The various parish organizations host parish coffees on a rotating basis on Sundays. The coffees promote the sense of friendship and family in our parish community, and also serve to help welcome new parishioners. Check the Calendar under Parish Coffees.

The Aberdeen Club

All parishioners of 62 years and up are invited to spend time together each month from September to May while meeting new friends and enjoying planned activities. These include entertainment, trips to Atlantic City, Lancaster theaters, Kimmel Center, stage shows, bingo, bridge and more. Hospitality serves cakes, cookies, beverages and occasional lunch. Transportation for the disabled is included. You couldn’t find a better bargain or more welcoming members.

It meets the second Tuesday of every month in the Parish Center from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. For more information, contact the rectory at 610 688 4584.