The Madonna House Apostolate is a Catholic community of lay men, women and priests within the diocese of Pembroke. Madonna House was founded in Combermere, Ontario, in 1947 by Catherine Doherty—a pioneer of social justice who had previously founded missions in Toronto, Ottawa, Harlem, Chicago, and other North American cities. Her apostolate has since grown to establish more than two dozen missionary “field houses” around the world.
Always established at the invitation of the local bishop, each field house has its own distinct mandate, according to the needs of the diocese. For instance, some houses serve the poor with soup kitchens, some are “prayer and listening” houses, while others combine various aspects of neighbourly services.