History

Chartered by Meher Baba in 1952, Sufism Reoriented was incorporated a year later as a non-profit religious organization. The first leader (Murshida) of the newly formed organization was Ivy Oneita Duce, a former businesswoman, magazine editor and Washington hostess during the years when her husband held senior positions in the Aramco oil corporation and in the U.S. government.

For most of Mrs. Duce’s tenure, Sufism Reoriented met in a rented meeting room on Sutter Street in San Francisco. With the growing interest in spirituality that emerged in the early 1970s, Sufism moved to its current location in Walnut Creek, California. Membership approached its current level in the early 1980s and has remained consistent since that time. Sufism Reoriented does not proselytize or publicize its services or activities, but welcomes new members who share a deep inner yearning to devote their lives to the love of God and service to His world following the guidance provided by Meher Baba.

Before her passing in 1981, Murshida Duce designated Dr. James S. B. MacKie as her successor. Dr. MacKie, a psychologist who had taught psychiatry at the University of Maryland Medical School and had been a consultant for the Peace Corps, served in the role of Murshid until his passing in June 2001. He appointed the current teacher, Dr. Carol Weyland Conner, to assume the role of Murshida.

Sufism symbol - heart with wingsThe symbol of the heart and wings used by Sufism Reoriented is one of 39 religious emblems officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for placement on government headstones and markers.