You are here

Sustainable Practices

photo of the turkeys that live at our Motherhouse

Sustainable Growth

Because construction and development have a profound impact on our environment, economy, and health, we built our St. Joseph Residence and Dominican Center as a "green" building.

The project incorporated LED lighting, reflective roofing, glazed windows, solar topped parking areas, locally sourced materials and a network of 24 water retention basins to capture storm run off in a drought tolerant meadow that will be planted to attract native bees and birds and replenish aquifers.

Our Motherhouse honors God’s creation and affirms Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si to care for our Common Home. 

Campus conservation 

Every day we strive to not only create a sense of beauty and open space at the Motherhouse, but we also seek new and innovative ways to preserve the land for generations to come. Our daily sustainability practices include:

  • Sustainably harvest and press our mission-era olives
  • Produce extra virgin oil, available at our Boutique and as the sacramental oil used by parishes in the Oakland Diocese.
  • Recycle bottles, cans, cardboard, mixed paper and batteries
  • Collect and compost food waste and use biodegradable food service ware at our large events.
  • Donate kitchen oils, animal fat and grease to bio-diesel manufacturers

photo of Sister Barbara Hagel in the gardenCommunity Garden

Our "community garden" includes 20 fruit trees sustained by a reactivated historic well.  A solar-powered pump and gravity flow system – designed by Santa Clara University School of Engineering undergraduates delivers well water to the garden’s drip irrigation system.

Motherhouse hives pollinate the produce that is enjoyed by our Sisters and shared with the community.

Introducing Sister Barbara Hagel Care of Creation Coordinator

  • Studied at Genesis Farm in New Jersey, learning sustainable agriculture and earth care
  • Advocate of school garden programs, teaching children to grow and prepare healthy food
  • Presenter on Eco-Spirituality issues