Mercy Center is a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, West Midwest, an order of Catholic women religious. Mercy Center was established in 1981 in Burlingame, California, as a retreat center and a conference center for religious and non-religious nonprofit organizations.

Mercy Center provides opportunities for people to become more attentive to the presence of the Divine in their lives and in the world, and then respond with care for the Earth and service to others, especially people who are poor and vulnerable.

Learn more about the Sisters of Mercy West-Midwest Community.


Mary A. Dillard, MA, CPTD, Director of Mercy Center. Mary brings over 20 years of formation and ministry experience and a deep love for community, spirituality, and care of the Earth. She is a Focusing Trainer with The International Focusing Institute. She attended Catholic Theological Union as a Bernardin Scholar where she earned an MA in Theology with concentrations in Spirituality and Ethics. She is the author of a number of books and online training courses for Liturgy Training Publications, and is the publisher for Ayasofya Press.

Program STAFF

Mary Ann Clifford Rodriguez, RSM​

Sister Mary Ann is a spiritual director, supervisor, retreat director and works in the formation of spiritual directors in English and in Spanish. She has spent over 20 years working in Latin America and the Caribbean. Sister Mary Ann is adjunct staff of Mercy Center, Burlingame.

Bernadette Hart, RSM

Sister Bernadette is a skilled teacher, spiritual director, and group leader with experience in elementary schools, parish work, hospital chaplaincy, assisting elders, and vocation ministry. At Mercy Center Sister Bernadette sees people for spiritual direction, leads the Cancer Prayer Group, and assists with retreat events and programs.

Joy Andrews Hayter

Joy Andrews Hayter, Ph.D

Joy is a spiritual director, scientist, and Centering Prayer coordinator at Mercy Center. She is dedicated to fostering Centering Prayer and other contemplative practices that help us become aware of God's ever-present love.​

Sr. Judy Cannon, RSM

Judy Cannon, RSM

Sister Judy, leads Wednesday evening meditation at Mercy Center. She has been studying and practicing meditation since 2000. She has made silent retreats at Mercy Center Burlingame with Fr. Thomas Hand and Fr. Greg Mayers, and also at The Insight Retreat Center and Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

Jean Evans, RSM

Sister Jean facilitates retreats and Taizé Prayer at Mercy Center, Burlingame, California. She ministered with apartheid victims in South Africa, 1984-2012. Sister Jean trained for retreat direction at Loyola House, Guelph, Canada.

Suzanne Toolan

Suzanne Toolan, RSM

Sister Suzanne, creator of the communion song, “I Am the Bread of Life,” is an internationally known composer of liturgical music. She is a prominent American spokeswoman for the music and prayer of the Taizé ecumenical community from France and leads many Taizé-style retreats.


(650) 340-7474

For general questions or to make a reservation please contact our front desk administrative team.

Group Reservations

If you would like to make a reservation for a group or if you have questions about an existing group reservation.

Individual Reservations

If you have questions about a Mercy Center sponsored retreat or if you are having trouble with registration.


Cristina Esguerra

Campus Hospitality Services Supervisor

Patricia G

Patricia Giles

Bookstore Manager


Monette Bangit

Burlingame Administrative Staff


Offerings include meditation, wellness, prayer, eco-spirituality, professional & social development, spiritual direction, and mutuality. Internationally known, this conference and retreat center offers a peaceful and holistic environment for people of diverse faiths and backgrounds to nourish their spiritual and professional lives, and a convenient location for conferences and events in the San Francisco Bay Area.


We are grateful for the many volunteers who help with programs and special events at Mercy Center. Please contact Cristina Esguerra if you would like to join our volunteer community.