Mercy Foundation supports Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program

The Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa., was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Mercy Foundation at the second annual Mercy Foundation Grant Awards Ceremony and Luncheon at Mercy Center, Dallas, Pa., to subsidize the program’s operational expenses and in support of its emergency fund.

Mercy Foundation, Inc., was established in 2011 through the generosity of Catholic Healthcare Partners as a result of the sale of Mercy Hospital in Scranton, Pa. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that is operated exclusively to benefit, support, and carry out the religious, charitable, educational, and other related programs and projects of the Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties. The foundation honors the Sisters of Mercy’s legacy of service to develop healthy communities and to commit resources in support of programs that respond to the needs of the poor and underserved in the community.

The Sisters of Mercy are called and committed to a life of service, and are dedicated to the philosophy of their foundress, Catherine McAuley, “to serve the needy with courage and compassion.’’ The sisters spend their lives teaching and ministering in hospitals, schools and parishes. Their influence and untiring service have touched the lives of thousands of people in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The Women with Children program was established in 2000 after surveys of surrounding counties illustrated that a high percentage of single women with children were living in poverty and had little chance of improving their situations due to a lack of any completed education beyond high school. By providing academic and need-based scholarships, free housing, access to child care and an array of social and educational counseling and support services, Misericordia University’s program empowers economically-disadvantaged local single women to complete their degrees and create brighter futures for themselves and their children.

The program is one of only eight nationwide. It has helped 17 women graduate with a college degree who have then transitioned to good jobs with good pay in careers specific to their majors. These alumnae have become professionals in the fields of health care, social work and education.

Misericordia University’s program accommodates 10 mothers and up to 20 children at the program’s two residence halls on Lake Street in Dallas Borough.


The Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa., recently was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Mercy Foundation. Participating in the ceremony, from left, are Sister Jean Messaros, RSM, vice president of Mercy Integration, Misericordia University; Theresa Doughty, coordinator, Women with Children program, Misericordia University; Katherine Pohlidal, director, Women with Children program, Misericordia University; Sister Mary Ann Dillon, RMS, chair, Mercy Foundation board of directors; Sue Helwig, vice president, University Advancement, Misericordia University, and Kate Totino, Government, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Misericordia University.