Sunday, February 25 2024

“Move forward, always following the movement of the Spirit which tells us to go forward and nudges us ever onward.” Father Gailhac

In June 1938, Mother Cecilia Rafter set out to open Marymount in Montecito, an area known for its beauty and artistic landscapes.  A house had been remodeled for a “modern” school, with both school and convent ready for dedication on September 8, 1938.

Classes began with 17 students from the 4th to 11th grades, many were non-Catholic. In the RSHM tradition, students are formed to become the persons God calls each to be, respecting diversity and valuing other faith traditions.

By 1941, Mothers Gerard and Baptiste knew a boarding school was needed.  While plans for expanding were being made, property in Santa Barbara became available with grounds and buildings suitable for a boarding school. The purchase was approved, and Marymount relocated to Mission Ridge Road. Registrations increased, the campus expanded and in 1948 Cor Maria dorm opened to 65 boarders. Marymount students, known for their strength in academics and athletics, were accepted to selective colleges and universities nationally. 

In 1961 a high school building was added and library later. The school thrived until the number of RSHM declined in the late 1960s. With fewer RSHM in classrooms and their presence critical to having boarders, it was clear both schools could not continue.  The decision was made to close the High School in 1972 and Junior School in 1973. In January 1972 a group of parents came forward and formed a nonprofit corporation, assuming responsibility for the operation of the Junior School. 

Montecito House 1938

Santa Barbara