Mount Carmel, the home of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM), was established in 1893 along the beautiful bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa. Through their history, over 4,000 women have entered the Sisters of Charity BVM. There are now less than 300 BVM Sisters, two thirds of whom live in Dubuque. With an average age of 82, the Sisters realized they needed help developing their campus and services to provide care for their aging order, while maximizing the 100-acre campus to continue their mission of service to others.
The BVM Sisters established a partnership with Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) of Minnesota founded on the faith-based values of the organizations, with a shared mission of creating a full-continuum senior community to best serve the mission of the Sisters and the greater community.
The partnership teamed with Pope Design Group to transform, preserve and enhance the existing campus into a full continuum care senior living community
Through the phased redevelopment, the 1800’s era Motherhouse was renovated to became the central heart of the campus – with improved accessibility, renovated amenity spaces for community, worship, wellness and educational programming. Phase 1 added care suites, assisted living and memory care to the campus for the Sisters and new residents, and Phase 2 added independent living, new atrium and wellness center.
Mount Carmel Bluffs has always been a destination to visit, walk, learn, gather and worship. The Sisters’ goal was to engage the community through senior living options, community events, and outdoor amenities.