How we began
Cristo Rey Ranch, Inc., is owned by the Congregation of Sister Servants of Christ the King. Besides the Ranch, the Sisters’ Mother House/Convent and the Villa Loretto Nursing Home and Villa Rosa are located at this site. The Sisters have been in the Mt. Calvary area since 1949.
Having a love for animals, as well as people, they began to provide homes for various animals, which has grown into a menagerie of over 300 animals at any given time. Currently, there are sheep, goats, llamas, emu, donkeys, rabbits, and horses, pot-bellied pigs, dogs, cats, a variety of fowl including turkey, geese & ducks, also peacocks, chickens, birds (aviary) living in the rolling countryside.
Sisters, residents of the nursing home, respite children, and visitors have enjoyed these creatures for many years.
In 1992, the Sisters began a respite care program licensed by FDL County Social Services to provide respite for families whose children may be at risk. The children love the chance to watch, play, and care for the animals. It was decided to expand on this program by offering a traveling petting zoo for local community events, in which the respite children participate.
The bamboo tree was chosen because in the first years of planting there is only a small green sprout visible while an extended root system is being formed. In the fourth year, the small sprout can grow up to 80 feet tall. It is our belief that we can nurture and influence the development of the children’s “roots” or “values” so they can become responsible citizens of their community.
The human figures are two in number because we are not meant to be alone, and connected by the hands to show our need to help each other. The hand outstretched to the llama indicates the bond between all living things in God’s world.
The circle represents the “circle of life”, as well as the world in which we live, our community. The crown represents our belief that God is the Creator, “King” of our universe.