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Preserving the BVM Story


Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary invite your support to preserve our vibrant heritage alongside the histories of several other congregations of women religious.

BVMs have always been pioneers, arriving to teach on the American frontier and establishing schools as settlers moved West. Over 186 years, BVM Sisters served in 21 states and three countries.

BVM history is American history. Early members had the foresight to save records from the beginning. Our archives document the lives of nearly 5,000 sisters and their ministries through photographs, ledgers, sheet music, poetry, writings, and artwork created by BVMs.

But these archives tell a story beyond the BVMs. They tell an American story of pioneering women, progressive educators, and intrepid explorers.

By collecting, preserving, and facilitating access to our archives, the congregation demonstrates awareness of our rich legacy, promotes understanding, and celebrates our unique character and place within church and society.

These vibrant archives capture the spirituality and mission of the congregation. Previously stored in the BVM Center (now being deconstructed) at Mount Carmel in Dubuque, Iowa, the BVM archives need a new home.

We plan to join with multiple congregations in a first-of-its-kind collaborative archives to tell the stories of women religious who shaped this country and its people.

The vision is to construct a shared facility with repositories of digital and physical archives telling the stories of at least nine congregations.

The BVM collection would move to a new central location in the Midwest to benefit historians, scholars, the public, and sisters’ friends and families.

To realize this vision of a collaborative archives, each religious congregation involved must contribute its share of the total cost based on the size of its own archives.

BVMs are proud of our extensive archives. Because of its size, our share of construction and start-up costs is estimated to be at least $1 million.

We turn to you to ask for your help to preserve this history which you, our families, friends, and former students helped create. Please consider partnering with us in this new endeavor to save the BVM story for future generations.

As always, we are grateful for you and send our thanks for your continued support.


If you would like to make a donation, please visit:

Or contact the Office of Development at:

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