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What People are saying...

"Mater Dolorosa has been an oasis of spiritual solace for me in our mostly urban and suburban landscape.  The mountains behind the Retreat Center and the open space in front are an intrinsic part of the retreat experience, an experience of peace, away from the noise and hustle and bustle of our daily lives.  And Mater Dolorosa is unique in that it is situated in the middle of the San Gabriel Valley and not a long drive away.  On a number of occasions when I faced personal challenges and needed a little spiritual comfort and peace, I would drive to Mater Dolorosa and park outside the gates (before it was all fenced in) and walk up the long hill to the Calvary station of the cross.  When I arrived (a little out of breath), I felt a sense of being away for awhile in a safe, beautiful and spiritual place where I could reflect and pray.  That separation and space from suburbia is key, it is not just excess land; it serves a purpose and is an essential element to the overall retreat experience.  If at all possible, and with God all things are possible, I urge the leaders of Mater Dolorosa to preserve this beautiful place." ~ D.B.

"I've been a resident of Sierra Madre for over fifty years, the last thirty living adjacent to their grounds where I was able to enjoy the spiritual refuge and serentity that flows out from God's world in contrast to the world that exists outside the grounds with all the attractions/distractions that pull us away from Him. It is the open space that creates the boundary that allow this and is home to all the wild life that inhabit it. When the thirty pieces of silver are gone this sacred tract of land will also be gone and can never be reclaimed. We must protect this God given green belt. We owe this to our community, our children, and the wild life that would be driven out." ~ MS

"I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was sixteen years old and was baptized at twenty seven and confirmed at the young, impressionable age of thirty.  As a committed Christian, I find that Stations of the Cross at the Monastery every Good Friday essential to the way I honor Jesus and would be completely devasted even if the stations were preserved, but my ability to park near the Monastery were to be hampered.  Futhermore, the Monastery is, I believe, very close to Bailey Canyon, which is one of our strong wildlife corridors.  The development of the open space of the Monastery would disrupt this very vital wildlife corridor and be in direct conflict with the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi who believed in the respect for animals." ~ K.A.

"If there is a petition to sign, a list to which my name can be added, PLEASE sign me up! I have been to the Monastery to do the Stations of the Cross and was overwhelmed by it's serenity and beauty.  The proposed housing project is a travesty and should never happen.  I will keep you all in my prayers for a successful outcome..." ~L.H.

"If possible I would like 4 "Stop the Monastery Housing Project" yard signs.  I know many longtime Sierra Madre residents that support this effort, but are not computer savvy.  So I am including them in my request." ~A.F.

"Please add me to the email list and send signs!" ~ A.T.


"I'm against the housing project at the Monastery, I bought my house 13 years ago specifically because of the beautiful view that I have of the Monastery.  Please send me a yard sign." ~ C.A.

"Just saw your sign on Canon street when I was taking my kids to school.  So disturbing that builders want to destroy part of that beautiful land.  As a Catholic and long time Sierra Madre resident it is really heart breaking." ~ A.L.

"We want to save the Monastery property.  Please provide a sign for our front yard." ~ J.L.

"I am very concerned to hear of the proposal to sell Monastery land for a housing development.  Please add me to your email and send a yard sign....Thank you for your efforts to stop this proposal which would have devasting effects on our community."

~ C.B.

"Although we are not Catholics, we at many times viewed the Stations of the Cross and partook of the serenity of other areas of the Monastery.  In the 60's and 70's my daughters flew their kites in the open space where the development is proposed.  We have attended many of the fiestas held yearly on the property as well as the annual Volunteer Fire Department barbecues.  I am sure that the section of the road in front of Bailey Canyon will be widened and Grove Street and Lima will become main arteries along with Sunnyside.  Who knows what will eventually be required to accommodate this heavier load of traffic?  It would probably be necessary to widen the streets.  We have experienced a great flow of traffic through the years as Bailey Canyon has become increasingly popular as a walking and hiking destination.  Finally, Sierra Madre cannot sustain any more development with its limited water supply and manpower resources of the volunteer Fire Deparment, Paramedics, and Police.  We are already maxed out with salaries and benefits for personnel of all these departments.  Our Fire Department is not what we used to call "all volunteer."  The impact of this entire development will have a devastating effect on this western section of Sierra Madre.  Thank you for what you are doing to rally the citizens against this project." ~ N.B.

"How is City Hall addressing these issues, with a severe water shortage in our community, how can we support 40 more homes (and I imagine they will be McMansions)...It will negatively impact Bailey canyon and all its wildlife.  Not to mention all the obvious pitfalls." ~ D.B.

"We have lived in Pasadena for thirty eight years.  My backyard is the Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center.  I remember my sons being able to walk freely on the property and when they were older worked at the Retreat Center, and were able to walk to work.  I remember the church that is now the garden, Christmas Eve mass there, the church aglow.  I remember the men's retreat from Tijuana, Mexico, and hearing their beautiful voices at Easter.  We also walked to the Monastery for Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.  We are also parishoners of St. Rita.  I am opposed to having a housing project on this property.  Looking out at the grounds is so peaceful.  The deers grazing this morning on the property near the proposed area would not allow this to continue.  If construction happens the wildlife will be forced from the area.  I understand that this is their property and they are free to do what they want, but this has been a city landmark since 1926 and has quite a history of its uses.  The sale of property is to sustain the Retreat Center, is there not another way to raise money?  I would like two yard signs to place on my property.  One in the front and one in the backyard." ~ D.L.

" For 65 years the Monastery raised money by having a yearly Circus and Carnival on the last weekend in June.  That worked all those years in raising the needed money for the brothers and aging Passionist priests, while at the same time leaving the open space beauty of the Monastery fields for nature and the surrounding community to enjoy the nature.  Please bring back the Circus and Carnival yearly event to raise the needed funds to save the Monastery Fields from unneeded housing development. " ~ M.R.

"Please keep me informed.  Thank you for your efforts on behalf of your community."

~ A.S.

"We don't want to see this property destroyed.  We used to occasionally walk the beautiful, peaceful grounds and now we can't." ~ C.B.

"Please keep me posted and tell me what I can do to preserve this special place in Sierra Madre." ~ L.S.

"Since when do health issues warrant selling off a huge tract of land?  What if there was no land to sell? How about just pay your bills for a concept?  Land is not something so you can grab a buck; it's life, itself!  What happens when we've crowded ourselves to oblivion and we end up like the poverty stricken on the streets of India; can't happen?  Think.  The Wards had to sell their open space on Mountain Trail to pay a burdensome tax bill.  Now recently, our last near-to-downtown open space on the south side of E. Sierra Madre Bl. is being developed for the money. Where are we headed, when does it stop? Yes, Southern California is a developer's haven.  Is that all we can give Sierra Madre?  This is just another heartless example of opportunistic greed.  As always, we'll deserve what we get.  Unlike the 1 Carter property, we could get together a medical fund for the Fathers as a way to help save our land; remember the summer picnics on their hillside.  We're all going to pass-on someday.  The land is perpetual and needs to be treated as such.  Nothing said here is anything anybody doesn't already know.  How we act upon it shows who we really are.  That's another thing we can't get away from no matter what religion." ~ A.C.

"Thank you so much for caring...if you could spare just one more yard sign for me up in the canyon that would be awesome, but of course they must go where they are needed most..I think you are doing a wonderful job.." ~ A.L.

"Thank you for your efforts to save Mater Dolorosa.  There is no other place you can go to in the entire San Gabriel Valley and feel that sense of getting away from it all.   There is also no other place  where you get that unique combination of spirituality and peace which this entire property provides.   Any kind of development will disturb and change the ambiance completely.  How do you put a price on that?  Let's find another way to get the Passionists the money they need.  Once sold, the land is gone forever.  There must be another way.  Let me know what I can do to help." ~ S.T.

"The Monastery means more to me then I can describe.  It brings tranquility to my heart.  I have created many memories on the Monastery and I hope to one day share and recreate those days with my daughter.  For it would be a travesty if those days were only a dream.  Thank you for all your efforts.  Please lets stop this destruction and preserve quality of life."  ~ J.H.

"Hi, I am writing on behalf of my parents, who live on Sierra Keys Drive.  They are very concerned about the project, and are willing to do whatever it takes to get the project stopped.  They are longtime residents (since 1974) who have invested heavily in their house with upgrades over the years and are also Catholics who love the Monastery and are troubled by this potential development.  Let us know how to get involved.  I don't live in Sierra Madre but visit often and will help my parents get and stay engaged.  We'd also like some yard signs.  Let us know how we can pick them up or if you would like to mail them.  Also I am sure there are others on Sierra Keys who will be directly impacted by this project as well.  There are at least 5-6 homes that directly face the monastery property. Happy holidays and many thanks - we look forward to hearing from you."  ~ R.K.

 "I have a yard sign and am telling everyone I know to stop this project. Thank you." ~ M.K.

"I can't tell you how upset I am about this! WHY do they have to do this?  They need the money, right?  What do they need the money for?  And why WHY do they have to ruin this pristine property and cut it all up and create really bad vibes and a lot of upset which will, in turn, ruin the peace and serenity and spiritually uplifting quality of the property.  Its very upsetting to see them be this greedy, without any concern for the community.  I have  very busy career in the arts and music, but this is so upsetting that I feel like going over there tommorrow, walk into the office and sound off!  But the problem is, it’s already a done deal, right?  Don’t we have any say in it?  And don’t they realize they will no longer have a retreat center of peace and serenity? And that it will be ruined forever because a few folks on the top want to use the money for their own ends?  Looks like GREED from this standpoint. Thanks for your help ... There are a LOT of us who feel the same way. How can we solidify all those people to make some sort of legal block to it? Thanks for your sincere efforts to fight this issue..."  ~ C.D.


 "This is something we do not want. We live down the street from the monastery and have enjoyed visiting and praying there. With the shortage of water we do not need a development in this beautiful place. We do not have enough water now." ~ T.H.

"I am against this project and have a yard sign. I am telling everyone I know to try to stop this project. Thank you." ~ S.K.

"I am a supporter of Stop the Monastery Housing Project and an attorney here in Sierra Madre and would like to offer my services.  I am also a current candidate for City Council.  Please let me know how I can help." ~ N.G. 

"I am not much of an ally because I am not religious (atheist down to the bottom of my boots) but I do care about the history of the institution and the the environment and the impact on the monastry's neighbors including the immensely precious Bailey Canyon. I also care about the animals, especially Esme and Sid the two cayotes who live there. I now understand why they put up the unneccesary railings at great expense, it was a first step towards a housing project. The monastry and Bailey Canyon are two quiet areas where you can just think or work or just blob around, that is a rare thing in Sierra Madre, it should be protected at all costs." ~ K.W.

"I'd hate to see the Monastery end up like the property at 1 Baldwin.  That should be a warning if anything is! Please send a sign...Thanks, and I'll spread the word and pray for good results!" - D.W 

"Thank you for your efforts. My husband and I wish to request a sign and offer our support... Again, thank you for all you are doing to preserve this precious area."  -W&S M.

"I am completely for stopping the development of the housing project. I am a long time resident of Sierra Madre. Please contact me if there's anything I can do to volunteer to help with this effort." - J.T

"Personally and environmentally, this project is simply the wrong thing to do! As I live on the north-east corner of Sunnyside and Sierra Madre Blvd. and cope with bad enough traffic and traffic noise, the construction traffic and eventual permanant added traffic going up Sunnyslope would be and ongoing danger and nuisance. Also much more exhaust fumes. Enviormentally, this would have to have an impact on the bird populations at adjacent Bailey Canyon. Would like to be kept updated about efforts to stop this!" -E.MP

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