Welcome to Holy Cross Retreat Center. We are happy to have you here. During your visit we invite you to become acquainted with our grounds, chapel, religious article area, library and the historical original house, built in 1912 and 1913 by Mr. & Mrs. Frank Monaghan. The adobe bricks for the house were fashioned right on the property by native work¬men. When completed, the house contained 14 rooms built around a central atrium. The furnishings for the hacienda were brought in by train.
After several years the property was passed on to Beatrice White Fountain. Mrs. Fountain and her husband, Henry, lived in the house many years and carried out extensive redecoration and landscaping as well as farming the land. In 1954, the Fountains sold the house and 19 acres to the Franciscans of Santa Barbara, California who were looking for a site to build a retreat house. Many of the unique furnishings were sold with the house, including the hand carved Japanese dining room set, an ebony grand piano and a hand carved Swiss grandfather clock.
The Franciscan Brothers’ building crew moved in and began a project which included the kitchen and dining room, conference room and chapel, friary and motel units. In 1957 Holy Cross Retreat Center opened with Fr. Owen da Silva as the first director. The Californian Franciscans continued to maintain and staff the retreat until 1980. Due to a shortage of personnel, they turned over Holy Cross Retreat Center to the Conventual Franciscan Friars.