4 DignityHealth.org/central-california | Spring 2019 Dominican Sisters Father O’Connor called upon the devoted Dominican Sisters of San Rafael to help run the home and hospital when it opened in December 1899. Prior to his death in 1911, Fr. O’Connor transferred ownership and operation of St. Joseph’s to the Sisters and recognized them for 12 years of work with no compensation. For more than 120 years, the Dominican Sisters have served in leadership roles, and they continue in their service at St. Joseph’s today. Celebrating 120 years It began as a dream, then a prayer, a hope, and finally a reality. From the laying of the cornerstone in March 1899 to today, what was originally St. Joseph’s Home and Hospital has grown far beyond the dreams of its founder, the Rev. William B. O’Connor, and its sponsors, the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. It has become a nationally recognized medical center serving the broader community of San Joaquin County and educating the nurses, clinicians, and doctors of tomorrow. In July 1884, Miss Julia Weber, daughter of Stockton founder Captain Charles Weber; Mr. and Mrs. Basilio Loagier; and Major J.D. Peters presented Father O’Connor with the money to purchase 9.23 acres north of the Stockton city limits facing California Street. When the town heard of plans to build a home for old men, a group of local physicians pointed out the great need for a place to take their patients for specialized care. And so plans for St. Joseph’s changed to include a hospital as well as a home. Serving Our Community Rev. William O’Connor, Founder Sister Pia Shaw, OP, served as “Sister Visitor” for over 40 years. She visited patients and gave a medal to every new baby. Sister Gabriel Lally, OP, served at St. Joseph’s for 45 years, retiring as administrator in 1990. She was known as a woman of integrity, a mentor, and a visionary, and led St. Joseph’s through almost a half-century of growth.