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Our Dominican story begins over 800 years ago with Dominic de Guzman, born in 1170 in Caleruega, Spain. Filled with a deep spirit of prayer and a passion for preaching Christ Jesus, Dominic gave birth to a new religious order: the Order of Preachers. Dominic's wisdom and vision enabled him to integrate the best of the contemplative and apostolic life. He called his followers to be rooted in and shaped by the Word of God through personal and liturgical prayer, assiduous study, and life shared in community. He gifted the Church with contemplative women and men passionately committed to proclaiming the truth of Jesus where ever they found themselves.
Our Congregational story begins more than 133 years ago when three young Dominican Sisters were sent in 1876 from Brooklyn, New York, to San Francisco, California, to begin a school for German-speaking immigrants. Sister Maria Pia Backes, the superior, was 24 years old. Her companions were Sister Salesia Fichtner and Sister Amanda Bednartz. By the time of her death, 48 years later, Mother Pia had firmly established the new Congregation of the Queen of the Holy Rosary: the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. Her devotion to the Gospel, her love for the liturgy, and her desire to bring Catholic education to youth, especially to the poor, shaped the spirit of this new family.
The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose live the rich tradition of the Dominican family with vitality, enthusiastically responding to the challenge of the preaching the Gospel in California, Oregon, Arizona, Mexico, Germany and Guatemala.