Established in 1878, Mt. St. Francis Center, located in Dubuque, Iowa, is a diocesan orphanage owned and operated by the Sisters of St. Francis. The Sisters of St. Francis was founded in Herford, Germany in 1864. The center provides retirement living and nursing care to the elderly. It houses more than 350 support staff members and provides full-time care services. It also houses the central administrative offices of the congregation and the novitiate community. The staff members also provide education, health care, social work and pastoral services. It also undertakes various projects, such as The Sister Water Project that helps to solve the problem of drinking water in Tanzania. It additionally sponsors various ministries, including Maria House, Shalom Retreat Center, Alverno Apartments, Sioux City Neighborhood and Morton, Mississippi Neighborhood Project, Briar Cliff University and Stonehill Franciscan Services.