Over the years there have been changes to Sisters of Mercy as an organization. For many years, the Community was known as the Sisters of Mercy, Burlingame Regional Community. In 1991, the Burlingame Regional Community joined 24 other regional Mercy communities to form the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Then, Leadership was local. In 2008, the Burlingame Community joined Auburn (California) Cedar Rapids (Iowa), Chicago (Illinois), Detroit (Michigan), and Omaha (Nebraska) to become the West Midwest Community, with central administrative offices in Omaha.
Sisters of Mercy leadership merged into one elected body of leaders for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, which includes the Caribbean, Central America and South America, the Pacific and the continental US, including Mercy Sisters in Burlingame. The Institute Leadership Team (ILT). appoints personnel to guide and assist the sisters in discernment towards appropriate action in addressing to-day’s needs throughout their Community. Sisters at the local level interpret with compassion, the Institute’s guidelines against the backdrop of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy for our times.
The Burlingame Campus Remains “Home” to Sisters Who Live On and Off Campus
As in the past, the Sisters of Mercy are committed to the Critical Concerns of the time. Currently, 50 Sisters currently live on campus; 25 in the Motherhouse (now known as Mercy Convent) and 25 in Marian Oaks Life Center. Other Sisters live off campus to be closer to their ministries.
Like the eight Sisters who first came to San Francisco, today’s Sisters of Mercy serve in ministries of healthcare and education along with spiritual direction, counseling, pastoral ministry, prayer ministry, advocacy and social change, social service and housing, and many other areas of need. Burlingame Sisters not only work in Mercy-sponsored ministries but in individual ministries across a broad range of needs.
However, as Burlingame Sisters continue to age, and fewer young women choose to enter religious life, the number of Sisters living on campus will steadily decrease.
In the future, few or no Sisters may be present on the Burlingame Campus. For this reason, Mercy has begun planning now to implement changes that will sustain current campus ministries and potentially include new ministries on the campus for the long-term.