Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM)

A nonprofit organization

In 1833, five Irish laywomen, led by Mary Frances Clarke, immigrated to Philadelphia to teach the children of Irish immigrants. After a short time, they had formed a religious community. In 1843, they moved to Dubuque to continue their educational ministry. They gradually expanded to other parts of Iowa, to Chicago, west to California, and eventually to 25 states and three foreign countries. In the 1960s, their ministry expanded to include health care, social justice, and parish administration. In 2018, they partnered with Presbyterian Homes & Services to create Mount Carmel Bluffs, a senior living community on the Mount Carmel campus, allowing for sisters to age in place. As sisters continue to retire, BVM Ministry Partnership Grants and scholarships have been established to ensure their legacy continues. We invite you to journey with as we continue to live the Heart of BVM. 



Organization Data


Organization name

Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM)


1100 Carmel Drive



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