Donate Now

Catherine's Caring Cause Supports Asylum Seekers in Chicago

Catherine's Caring Cause Supports Asylum Seekers in Chicago

The mission of Catherine’s Caring Cause is to provide unwavering support, resources, and empowerment to asylum seekers as they navigate the challenging journey toward a better life. We are committed to fostering an inclusive and compassionate community where every asylum seeker is respected, protected and empowered to build a brighter future. We are guided by the core principles of Mother Catherine McAuley’s life and work, and her embodiment of the values of hospitality, mercy and love.

The Central American conflict in the 1980’s started Mercy Sisters Pat Murphy and JoAnn Persch on their decades-long path to helping asylum seekers. Initially, they were part of a group of religious women who formed a public sanctuary and helped a family from El Salvador. This led the duo to open the Su Casa Catholic Worker in 1990 for Central American victims of torture. Their work as Mercy justice coordinators in Chicago in 2007 resulted in their forming the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants (ICDI); both Su Casa and ICDI continue helping immigrants to this day.

In October of 2022, Pat and JoAnn were contacted about an asylum-seeking family of six from Sierra Leone who needed housing in Chicago. The Sisters asked Associate members of the Chicago Mercy Justice Committee for help and they sprang into action. In no time, the family had a furnished apartment and a year to begin to get their feet on the ground. Soon, Pat and JoAnn were contacted about more families and the project became too big for the Justice Committee. Catherine’s Caring Cause (CCC), “Walking in the Footsteps of Catherine McAuley,” was born; it became a 501(c)(3) with a board including the two Sisters, four Associates, and two McAuley grads who help with legal and development issues. With the help of good people from many areas, CCC now supports nine families in eight apartments with more expected soon. Each family has a mentor who facilitates donations of food, furniture, clothes, and household supplies. Mentors help with getting the kids in school celebrating holidays, helping with medical and legal assistance, and everything in between. CCC began in response to a single call for help and grew into an entity of passionate, dedicated Mercy people, focused on the Critical Concern of Immigration.

Sister JoAnn Persch, President
Sister Pat Murphy, Vice President
Jean Swiecicki, Treasurer
Madonna Rice, Secretary
Bridget Duignan
Peggy Goddard
Maureen Gainer Reilly
Carol Conway
Jose Rivero

If you would like to get involved, please contact us via the form below.

We need prayers, financial support, and those willing to do the following:

Mentors: A serious commitment to be the point person for all activities pertaining to an asylum-seeking family. People interested in mentorship undergo training coordinated by CCC.

Liaison to a Mentor: Assisting the mentor with tasks, strategy, and activities for a family.

Tutoring: Tutoring children in English.

Driving: Errands, legal and medical appointments, grocery shopping and more! Sign-up to be on a list of drivers the mentors can contact on an as-needed basis.

Teaching ESL: In person and/or Zoom ESL instruction for family members learning English.

Fundraisers! A significant amount of funding is needed for rent, utilities, food, groceries, transportation, and legal fees. Consider donating and reaching out to friends.

In addition to the above, skills and experience of all sorts are needed. Legal expertise, Realtor experience, access to affordable rentals, a background in Case Management, and the list goes on! Contact us today to share your unique gifts!

Catherine’s Caring Cause

10024 S Central Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60655


Phone: 773-253-3825

Scroll to Top