In the fall of 1855, six sisters left Emmitsburg (three of whom had been recruited in Spain by Bishop Amat) and journeyed to California, one destined for San Francisco and five for the Diocese of Monterey. The sisters journeyed by steamer to Panama and crossed the Isthmus eventually arriving in San Pedro on January 6, 1856. Five of the sisters traveled on to Los Angeles where they founded an orphanage, school and infirmary. In her memoir Remembrance of My Youth, Sister Angelita Mombrado looks back on her years in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
In October of 1864, three sisters left San Francisco and journeyed by steamer, train and stage to Virginia City, Nevada Territory where they founded St. Mary’s School & Asylum and later St. Marie Louise Hospital in 1875. After more than three decades, the sisters withdrew from these works in Virginia City and left Nevada only to return in the 1950s to found St. Theresa’s School in Carson City. In her 1937 memoir, Sister Raphael Creagh shares her memories of Virginia City.