Madonna House Toronto was founded in 1982, three years before Catherine Doherty’s death. The invitation by Cardinal G. Emmett Carter to establish an apostolate in the Archdiocese of Toronto meant coming “full circle” for Catherine, returning to her apostolic roots where her vocation began in 1930 with the founding of Friendship House in Toronto’s inner city. It was there that her call to identification with the poor began to unfold with a soup kitchen, clothing room, a lending library, and round-table discussions on the social encyclicals of the Popes.
Welcoming Christ and Friendship
We seek to welcome everyone as Christ. Many pass through our blue door to learn more about Catherine, our Madonna House spirituality, and the Catholic faith. In this mobile society, there is a need to extend friendship and support to the lonely, the disadvantaged, single parents, and young couples. Moral support is needed for those who are going through difficult periods in their lives such as family break-ups, sickness, death, and financial crises. In the midst of these and many other challenges of today, we strive to listen from the heart, assist where we can, and to foster a culture of life. An amazing diversity of life and activity flows through this house, mainly by means of personal contacts, letter writing, phone calls, and through the internet.
Beggars for Christ
Begging identifies us with the poor of the world. We are beggars for Christ, first for those we serve, and secondly for ourselves. Annually, we send a letter to our benefactors and friends, giving news of our activities and requesting donations to support us. Madonna House Toronto is registered with Revenue Canada, enabling us to provide income tax receipts.
Nazareth as our way of life
Our life of Nazareth modeled after the Holy Family, is an expression and witness to Christ’s command to love one another through our blend of prayer and work. We are a community of laymen, laywomen, and priests totally consecrated to Jesus through Mary; hoping to be as Catherine often said, “a place where people come in contact with God, and the things of God. The very essence of our vocation, so hidden, so humble, so glorious, is to love God passionately by loving others.”