Holy Cross School at San Buenaventura Mission was founded by Rev. Patrick J. Grogan in 1922, and staffed by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. The school serves the greater Ventura and surrounding areas. Initially the school opened with 239 students in grades one through eight in four classrooms. The Sisters served Holy Cross School faithfully until 1995 when lay faculty assumed all aspects of school personnel. In 2000, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of the Church, were entrusted with the Administration of the school. The present faculty is comprised of highly qualified and dedicated professional lay teachers and staff. The curent Principal is supported by the Mission Pastor and a Consultative Board.
The ethnic and socio-economic composition of the school is very diverse. Holy Cross School serves Catholic and non-Catholic students from Ventura, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Camarillo, Oxnard, Point Hueneme, Oak View and Ojai.
The Holy Cross School Alumni Association was established in 1982. This great group of graduates has provided consistent financial support for the school as well as Mission parish organizations. A strong family bond exists as evidenced by the multiple generations of students who attend the school.
Holy Cross School is fully accredited by the Western Association of School and Colleges, and the Western Catholic Education Association.
After 37 years of ministry at Mission San Buenaventura, then Pastor Rev. Msgr. Patrick J. O’Brien readied for retirement. His final major endeavor would be a new school building and multi-purpose hall. A capital campaign intent on raising funds for the new facility began in 1995. With the unrelenting support of the parishioners, the new buildings were completed in the fall of 2000. The students and faculty took occupancy of the beautiful new facility in January 2001.
Today our school community enjoys an award winning state-of-the-art facility. Three stories high, it houses grades Preschool through Grade 8. The multi-purpose hall now named in honor of the late Msgr. O’Brien is used frequently by the students for seasonal events such as talents shows, the Christmas Pageant and the Spring Musical.
An Adoration Chapel is availalbe to students and parishioners alike and additional meeting space serves both Holy Cross School and San Buenaventura Mission.
History of Mission San Buenaventura
Oldtown VenturaThe founding of San Buenaventura Mission was foreshadowed over three centuries ago on the Spanish isle of Mallorca. A devout Franciscan priest, who was a brilliant scholar and professor of theology, earnestly prayed that he might be permitted to forsake his comfortable circumstances to take up the Lord’s work among the aborigines in the New World. The hoped-for answer to his prayers came on Palm Sunday, March 30, 1749.
Thirty-three years and one day later the priest, Fray Junipero Serra – who had been subjected to painful sufferings and several brushes with death during his missionary ministry – raised the Cross at “la playa de la canal de Santa Barbara” (the beach of the Santa Barbara Channel). It was on Easter Morning, March 31, 1782. Assisted by Padre Pedro Benito Cambon, he celebrated a High Mass, preached on the Resurrection, and dedicated a Mission to San Buenaventura.