Mercy Center




We are welcoming five young seekers who feel called to the same values that religious women have embodied for generations—community, service, contemplation and mission driven work. These young people range in age from mid-twenties to early thirties, all college graduates involved in social justice, environmental, arts and spirituality work in the nonprofit sector.

Millenial Residency

Our resident Millennials L-R:
Alan Webb, Sarah Bradley, Milicent Johnson, Adam Horowitz, and David Bronstein




Nuns and Nones: An unlikely alliance across communities of spirit.


In the voices of Nuns and Nones participants, both Catholic Sisters and non-religious millennials, learn about what is discovered through conversation and collaboration at this intersection of identity and community.



Website: | Read: article in America Magazine



Go to our Donation Page, follow the link to Make a Donation, designate Mercy Center Burlingame, and type "Pilot Residency Program Support" into the Comments box.


How did this program come about?

This program is in response to a national movement that started in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Harvard Divinity School) in late 2016, coordinated by Wayne Muller and Adam Horowitz. Mercy Center hosted the second national gathering of the group, now called Nuns & Nones, in May 2017.  Relationships started among local sisters of several orders, the young seekers from the Bay Area and elsewhere who wanted to explore and deepen this intergenerational connection.  They connected with retreat days together, meals and conversations and site visits to nonprofits and living spaces.

After a gathering of the group initiators and influential sisters from all over the US at the Fetzer Institute in April 2018, the Nuns & Nones group were motivated to try to expand the movement. The group issued an invitation to religious orders asking for communities to host a pilot residency program focused on researching the future and potential funding of the movement.

Four Burlingame sisters, Sr. Judy Carle, Sr. Judy Cannon, Sr. Patsy Harney and Sr. Joan Marie O’Donnell, and Mercy Center Director Suzanne Buckley felt compelled to respond to the invitation, based on their growing respect for the young people and their excitement about the potential to work with the millennial seekers. The leadership team from the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest endorsed the program proposal, and we are the first such site in the U.S. to support this groundbreaking effort in a residency effort.

What will this program do?

Provide an opportunity to explore fresh expressions of the Critical Concerns, learning from the sisters and listening for creative symbiosis and a meeting of charisms across generations.

Create a hub for energizing the Nuns & Nones movement locally and nationally, exploring what kinds of invitations and stories can be generated from this community to nourish increasingly creative, deep, and ongoing interactions between our communities.

Focus on research: study, research and learn about these new relationships, providing learnings that will be published nationally and used for future funding and other potential programs involving both groups.

The pilot residents will also work with Mercy Center to propose new, creative invitations for bringing in aligned groups of contemplative and activist communities of young folks, locally and nationally, bringing new audiences to Mercy Center at a time when our audiences are changing.