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Mother Marie-Rose Durocher

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Sister Marie-Rose Durocher Stained Glass

Mother Marie-Rose Durocher founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in Montreal, Canada in 1843. By her faith, her judgment and her apostolic creativity, this woman had a great influence on the society and the Church of Quebec. A born educator, she knew how to develop people’s gifts and how to open her congregation to the future. Twenty-five years after the founding of the Congregation, six young Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, imbued with the spirit of Mother Marie-Rose, traveled to Oakland, California from Montreal, Canada in 1868 to found what is known today as Holy Names University.

Eulalie Durocher and HNU 1874
Portrait of Sister Marie-Rose (Eulalie) Durocher & HNU Campus in 1873

They could not have imagined how this sacred institution would grow and flourish into a strong, faith-based, liberal arts academic presence in the twenty-first century. Years ago, the sisters were the University’s primary “endowment”. Their work as the administrators, faculty, and staff of the institution for minimal pay helped to make it possible for qualified students, regardless of financial circumstances, to receive a college education. The Marie-Rose Durocher Legacy Society seeks to ensure that HNU continues to offer deserving students a quality education, while upholding and promoting the educational goals of the Sisters of the Holy Names.