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Madonna del Sasso School was established in 1957 by the Diocese of Monterey. Madonna del Sasso Church was inspired by the many Italian-speaking immigrants from the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland, who settled in the Salinas Valley in the early 1900s. They brought with them their devotion to “Our Lady of the Rock”, who had been honored with a sanctuary and pilgrimage church built on a cliff overlooking their hometown of Locarno, Switzerland. Madonna del Sasso Parish wished to continue this devotion and the Madonna statue was given a place of honor on a tower of white rocks in front of the new school. School and Sunday Masses were celebrated in the current Student Activities Center until the Pro-Cathedral was completed in 1971, with its soaring roofline suggesting the Alpine peaks of Locarno.


Prior to the completion of the building in January of 1958, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur taught eight classes of students for a year in the Portuguese Hall, formerly on the corner of Laurel Drive and Natividad Road. When seven classes moved into the current building, eighth graders attended class in the small kitchen area adjacent to the church. In 1963, the eighth grade classroom was built and in 1979, a Library Media Center was added to the school building. The Msr. Thomas Neary wing was built in 1983 under the direction of Principal Sr. Barbara Matasci, SND. which housed Kindergarten and first grade as well as the Extended Care Program. The Preschool program was established in 2000.