Historical Highlights  — 1833-2008
1833 | Mary Frances Clarke and companions make an Act of Consecration creating the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the direction of Fr. T.J. Donaghoe.
  1843 | Nineteen BVMs arrive in Dubuque, Iowa and begin St. Mary's Female Academy; it later becomes Clarke College.
1855 | Sisters begin to open schools and boarding academies in towns along the Mississippi and the westward railroad tracks.

1867 | Eight BVMs arrive in Chicago to teach in the Holy Family School system.

  1888 | First BVM school in California opens.
  1911 | Six BVMs begin full-time study at Catholic University for advanced degrees.

1930 | Mundelein College for women opens in Chicago in the midst of the Great Depression.

1937 | BVMs open school for African-American children in Memphis, Tenn.

1946 | Two schools in Kauai, Hawaii are begun.


1953 | Newly professed sisters enter Scholasticate program to obtain bachelors' degrees before starting to teach.

1958 | Fire at Our Lady of Angels School, Chicago, causes deaths of 90 children and three BVM teachers.

1961 | Sisters sent to minister in South America.

1964 | Novices and postulants arrive at Guadalupe College, Los Gatos, Calif., a new West Coast novitiate.
1965 | BVMs participate in march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., and other civil rights actions.

1968 | Tenth General Chapter pledges BVMs to programs in the areas of poverty, race and peace. 1972 | BVM Senate approves an Affiliate (Associate) program.

  1974 | Eighth Day Center for Justice is founded by BVMs in collaboration with other congregations.
1976 | Congregation joins National Farm Workers with a representative on Board of Directors.

1982 | Roberta Kuhn Center for senior citizens of Dubuque is dedicated.

1984 | Fire destroys administration buildings at Clarke College; rebuilding begins immediately.
  1985 | BVMs join Sanctuary Movement to help refugees from El Salvador.
  1989 | BVM Women's Office is established.
1989 | BVMs begin participation in annual demonstrations at Fort Benning, Ga., to close School of the Americas.

1991 | Mundelein College is merged with Loyola University.

2000 | An initial membership process begins for women in Ecuador.
  2001 | Congregation takes a corporate stance against the death penalty.
  2002 | Earth Charter is endorsed; it commits Congregation to a responsible use of Earth's resources.
  2007-2008 | BVMs celebrate 175th Jubilee.

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