The Franciscan Sisters of Mary began in 1872 when Mother Mary Odilia Berger and five companions arrived on the St.…More Louis riverfront with the mission of caring for the poor and sick, regardless of their ability to pay. Over the years, the order grew. It built hospitals, nursing schools and other health-care facilities that became SSM Health Care, which serves more than two million people annually in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.
The Franciscan Sisters of Mary continue to sponsor SSM Health Care, as well as Almost Home, a safe transitional home for homeless teenage mothers and their children, and Woman’s Place, a safe drop-in haven for women suffering domestic abuse.
The order also is committed to caring for the earth by working to halt and reverse the factors that cause climate change. While most of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary live in St. Louis, some sisters are pursuing ministry in Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and other parts of Missouri.