Madonna del Sasso School was established in 1957 by the Diocese of Monterey. Until the building was completed in January of 1958, eight classes were taught in the Portuguese Hall, formerly on the corner of Laurel Drive and Natividad Road. Madonna del Sasso was inspired by the many Italian-speaking immigrants from the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland, who settled in the Salinas Valley in the early 1900s. They brought with them their devotion to “Our Lady of the Rock”, who had been honored with a sanctuary and pilgrimage church built on a cliff overlooking their hometown of Locarno, Switzerland. Madonna del Sasso Parish was established to continue this devotion and the Madonna statue was given a place of honor on a tower of rocks in front of the new school. School and Sunday Masses were celebrated in the current Student Activities Center until the Pro-Cathedral was completed in 1971, with its soaring roofline suggesting the Alpine peaks of Locarno. Madonna del Sasso has grown into the largest parish in the Diocese of Monterey with a school known for its strong Catholic identity and rigorous academic curriculum. In 1979, a library was added to the school building and the Thomas Neary wing was built in 1983, housing the Kindergarten, first grade and Extension facility. Preschool program was established in 2000.