Foundress Dominican Day is this Friday, February 8!

What is Dominican Day?

Dominican Day started in 2010 as a SGMHS Founder’s Day Event celebrating our Mission San Jose (MSJ) Dominican Sisters’ Foundress Mother Maria Pia Backes, O.P..  It is a day of raising funds for our school and a needy MSJ Dominican Sister ministry/cause. It also raised fun and awareness about SGMHS and our MSJ Dominican Roots.  Dominican Day is still a highlight of the SGMHS school year and raises fun and funds for a MSJ Dominican cause however what has helped us grow in our awareness of our MSJ Dominican Sister Heritage who have staffed and continue to support us through affiliation.

Dominican Day includes a prayer rally, walk-a-thon, and picnic celebration.


Who is Mother Maria Pia Backes, O.P.?


Journey to California
Mother Pia with orphansAmidst the rapid influx of immigrants in the city of San Francisco in the late 19th century, San Francisco’s first Archbishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany, a Dominican priest, wrote to the Dominican Sisters of Holy Cross Convent, Brooklyn, New York calling for sisters to come teach the immigrant children of these newly arriving families. Three young sisters were sent to respond to this call: 24-year old Maria Pia Backes, 17 year-old Amanda Bednartz, and 21 year-old Salesia Fichtner. The sisters arrived in San Francisco on November 11, 1876 to begin the mission of education that would become the Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of the Queen of the Holy Rosary (Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose).

Within two weeks the sisters enrolled 40 diverse, immigrant children in their new St. Boniface School. Mother Pia’s persistence and faith “In God Alone” led her to found schools and orphanages along the Pacific coast and eventually to spread across U.S. borders into Mexico, Germany, and Guatemala. (taken from 

Read more about our Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, St. Dominic de Guzman, and Mother Pia click below...