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Returning to Our Roots

photo of Berge Cottage on the Dominican campus


Mission San Jose was founded in 1797 – the 14th California mission village made up of native Ohlone peoples, artisans, Franciscan friars and settlers under the authority of Spanish soldiers.

The Dominican Sisters purchased a portion of the mission property in 1891 from the Archdiocese of San Francisco to care for orphans, educate day students and teach music lessons.  After the 1906 Earthquake, the Sisters moved their Motherhouse home and headquarters to Mission San Jose in Fremont, CA.

Like the first Ohlone peoples, this land continues to sustain the Sisters and those in our care. We are blessed by its beauty and bounty.

Care for Creation

Our God is present in all creation and we hold ourselves responsible to care for all life with respect, justice and integrity.

We cultivate 200 olive trees, the largest remaining mission-era grove in California.

We promote environmental sustainability in our facilities, community garden, and recycling programs.

"Coming back to the land is coming home." S. Barbara Hagel, OP

Marywood Wildlife Protection

photo of stand of redwoods at MarywoodIn the Santa Cruz Mountains, our 190-acre Marywood property is a cathedral of old growth redwood trees, magenta-colored manzanitas and diverse wildlife.

Located near Laurel Curve on Highway 17, we and the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County have created a Wildlife Cooridor to preserve this habitat from development. The completed project includes University of California, Santa Cruz research (Puma Project) at Marywood and support for a wildlife tunnel beneath the highway, allowing safe passage for animals and preventing serious animal-related accidents.

"There is such a sense of peace and belonging when I walk through the forest at Marywood. Before entering a forest or meadow, I stop and just become mindful that I am entering the home of many creatures and I ask permission to briefly share their space."  S. Barbara Hagel, OP

Learn more about the Highway 17 Wildlife Corridor