The Mission of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary is to be the presence of the loving, serving, compassionate, healing Jesus.

The Mission of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary has remained the same since the days of Mother Odilia Berger, who arrived in St. Louis in November 1872—a true Franciscan concern for all God’s creatures, especially the poor and the marginalized.

But how we have been called to live out that Mission has evolved over the years. Mother Odilia and our early sisters lived out that call by caring for the poor and the sick, especially the ones they affectionately called ODLs, “Our Dear Lord’s,” those who could not afford to pay for their care. Over the years our sisters built hospitals, nursing schools, and other healthcare agencies to ensure excellent medical care for all who needed it.

As the congregation has aged, we have released control of the many ministries we founded and sponsored into the hands of capable laypeople with hearts for the FSM legacy. The FSM have heard the call to fulfill our Mission in a new way, by using our wisdom and resources to care for God’s creation in collaboration with others.


Flowing from our Mission, we focus the power of our intention on compassionate care of creation in collaboration with others.

The 2015 Chapter affirms our Focus and calls us to widen, deepen and emphasize its collaborative aspects.