Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known by their initials BVM, is a Roman Catholic religious order founded in the United States by Mother Mary Frances Clarke. BVM Sisters work in twenty-five states and three foreign countries.


BVM Sisters uphold a mission of three basic philosophies of living.

  • By living core values of freedom, education, charity and justice.
  • By strong public witness against oppression brought about by unjust political and social structures.
  • By solidarity with those marginalized by society, especially women and children, by speaking in supportive and non-violent action.


BVM Sisters founded Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa and Mundelein College in Chicago, Illinois. Mundelein College is now a part of Loyola University Chicago, a member institution of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Though retired from administration of Mundelein College, BVM Sisters continue to teach and chaplain to the needs of Loyola University Chicago students. In nearby Mundelein, Illinois, the BVM Sisters preside over Carmel High School, a four-year college preparatory school.


As part of the group's mission of social justice, there has been controversies with the affiliations of the members of the order. BVM Sisters have been involved with the Women's Ordination Conference, a group that esposes the Ordination of women as priests despite the matter being declared closed by the Vatican. BVM Sisters have also been involved in active civil disobedience against the 2003 war on Iraq. In 1993, one of the BVM Sisters, who had since died, was accused of molestation.