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New Book by Sister Margaret Gannon

Kathleen Toner was the founder, inspiration, and leader of Samaritan House, a residence for homeless mothers and their children, located in Brooklyn, New York. She was also a twenty-five-year survivor of fourth stage Hodgkin’s disease. These two experiences shaped her life; she was gifted with the ability to describe and interpret her experiences for others. This volume records two realities: the wisdom she shared on her personal journey through pain and weakness and her reflections on what drove her dedication to homeless families in New York City.

Kathy lived from 1944 to 2003; most of those years were spent in New York City. She became a Scranton Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1965 and in 1977 she earned a S.T.D. in theology and ethics, the first woman to earn that degree at The Catholic University of America.

During her first year of teaching at Marywood University, Kathy was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. She moved back to New York for treatment at Sloan Kettering Hospital. She suffered extremely difficult effects, including permanent weakening of her lungs and heart, but her treatments won Kathy twenty-five additional years of life. She dedicated them to her life-long ambition: securing a home for homeless families, not an institution, but a home--safe, supportive, and empowering. Mothers pursued employment, training, or education, while their children attended a nearby school. Beginning with little experience and even less money, she persuaded funders to support her project. In 1999 burglars broke into Samaritan House and attacked Kathy. Her injuries ended her presence there. After four months of hospitalization she moved to the IHM residence in Scranton, where she lived until her death in 2003.

Purchase on: (or search on "Margaret Gannon" or "Kathleen Toner")

About the Author:

Margaret Gannon is a Scranton Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She taught at Marywood University for forty-seven years, focusing on Modern Middle East and African History. She is a board member of the African Sisters Education Collaborative, which is based at Marywood. She serves as the IHM historian and has written about significant congregational matters, especially about the Founder of the Congregation, Theresa Maxis Duchemin. Kathleen Toner was her dear friend and constant inspiration.