Martha & Mary House
Martha and Mary House is permanent, intentional co-housing for five formerly homeless women, aged 60 years or older who are physically, mentally and emotionally self sufficient. Its mission is to create and support a community of women who will foster companionship, mutual support, health, safety and economy. Its core values are self governance, independence, inter-dependence, healthy boundaries and diversity.
All residents of the home participate in case management. They are assisted by a resident assistant, who manages the house and provides a sense of safety and stability, conducts weekly house meetings, organizes and schedules health education activities, and addresses any issues that arise.
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A Legacy of Generosity: A History of the Martha & Mary House
Until their passing in 2007 and 2009, respectively, Bob & Evelyn Dieringer served their community as true models of generosity. As longtime members of Holy Family and St. Ignatius Parishes, they were deeply engaged in parish life and took leadership roles at the churches and in archdiocese-wide projects. They served on boards and committees, including the Priests’ Retirement Campaign. Bob served on a special finance board at Mount Angel Abbey. Evelyn served her alma mater, St. Mary’s Academy in Portland. In later years, they brought communion to the elderly living in nursing homes.
In 2010, to honor their parents’ memory, Bob & Evelyn’s twelve children made the large family home available for Martha & Mary Hospice Ministry, a program that provided terminally-ill patients with dignified end of life care and support. The program closed in 2015, due to financial hardship.
After its closure, the Dieringer children decided to donate the family home to Catholic Charities of Oregon. The “new” Martha & Mary House opened in January 2017 and now provides permanent housing to senior women who were formerly homeless. In 2016, Catholic Charities presented its annual Single Candle Award to the Dieringer Family in honor of their parents and brother, Tim Dieringer, who passed away in 2015.
The name — Martha and Mary — refers to the Gospel story in which sisters perform both physical and spiritual tasks and learn from Jesus that the spiritual is the greater part.