Good Samaritan Article in the Californian

Chaldean nuns own and operate ‘hidden gem’ in Rancho San Diego retirement facility

Jamacha Road is a fast-moving thoroughfare on the stretch of road winding from El Cajon around into Rancho San Diego. By contrast, the easy-to-miss intersecting Jamacha Way is a different story entirely.

Turn off the main highway, and but a short distance down the seemingly rural street-way is the Good Samaritan Retirement Center, constructed amid nine acres of land bearing fruit and nut trees and a lush landscaped park area. The center is owned and operated by Chaldean nuns from the Iraq-based order Sisters Daughters of Mary Immaculate Conception. Sisters from the order serve in ministries worldwide.

Five nuns are currently at the facility, with one living in retirement there, and four active. They all hail from Iraq, and they range in age from early 30’s through 70’s.

Sister Alexandra is director of the center, which the nuns operate as a nonprofit enterprise, and she agreed to be interviewed along with Susan Sorensen, who serves as the center’s administrator. The two described the history of the facility, services available to retirees, and upcoming plans for a new addition of the Good Samaritan Memory Care Center. Submission of paperwork to the County of San Diego for that next phase of construction will be completed in early March. The following project on Sister Alexandra’s list is for low-income senior housing. “That is if I am still here,” she went on.

Sister Alexandra has been with the center for 18 years. Ground was broken for those existing buildings during 1997-1998.

“It was my dream to help old people since I was young,” Sister Alexandra said. She is of senior age herself now, but according to Sorensen is almost always up and about and active throughout the day’s activities, caring for center residents and the trees and plants in the gardens. She is on site or at the next-door convent 24 hours a day — unless she is driving to shop or pick up other supplies. Sister Alexandra also sews for the center and the center’s priest.

Sorensen added, “It is so quiet back here. I think this is a hidden gem in Rancho San Diego.” She has worked at the center in administration and marketing for three years. Sorensen’s mother lives in the retirement complex.

Forty-eight employees at the center provide services and amenities supporting three levels of care, from independent living, to Level II assisted living including daily hygiene and mobility assistance, and also Level III hospice care for frail and possibly near-death residents who may need help with in-room meals and feeding.

The facility is certified for 70 residents. A total of 62 are living there now, and Sister Alexandra has set aside 10 rooms for low-income seniors. “This is about people, not money,” she continued.

Residence at the center is open to men and women of any religious beliefs. The center is especially friendly for Catholics, though, as Father Dave Leon conducts daily Roman Catholic chapel services, which anyone may attend.

Residents’ room assignments do not change, even if their level-of-care needs change. The only current limitation is that no “wanderers” may live at Good Samaritan.

Sorensen said that she has grown fond of figs from eating fruit harvested from the center’s trees. “We all work together. We stay very tight. And working with the nuns has taught me a lot about myself,” Sorensen related. “This is my favorite order of nuns. They are special.”

Sister Alexandra added, “The credit goes to the employees.”

Sorensen noted that the center’s rooms are available for meetings, and the lower-level park is available to rent for parties and events. Each September, Sister Alexandra stages a gala fundraiser at the park to benefit the center.

More information about Good Samaritan Retirement Center can be found online at or by phone at (619) 590-1515.

La Dolce Vita – Thank you!

La Dolce Vita – Living the sweet life at Good Samaritan! Thank you to each and every one of you who came in support of our cause! It was touching to see the outpouring of support from our community.


La Dolce Vita 17th Anniversary Gala & Fundraiser

Please join us September 23rd, 2017 to celebrate 17 wonderful years serving our community!
We will have fabulous themed entertainers, a delicious authentic meal prepared by our in house chef, raffle prizes and more!The festivities will begin at 6 pm and conclude at 9pm.
All are welcome to attend!
Please RSVP prior to September 16th.
Tickets may be purchased using the form below, in person in the front office, or you may reserve tickets on the phone by calling (619)590-1515

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June Move In Special!

In honor of Father’s Day we are running a MOVE IN SPECIAL! $500 Administration fee (that’s a $500 discount!) This offer good for the month of June only.

Dias De Las Madres Mother’s Day Celebration

Come join us for DIAS DE LAS MADRES – a celebration of all of our wonderful mothers and their families!

We will have live performers, a raffle, and delicious authentic cuisine prepared by our in house chef!

Raffle sponsored by APREVA HOSPICE

Taco Salad – Iceberg lettuce topped with black beans, green onions, shredded cheese, grape tomato halves, fresh cilantro, tortilla strips and avocado served with ranch dressing
Beef Fajitas
Chicken Fajitas

Mexican Rice
Refried Beans
Guacamole & Salsa
Flour Tortillas
Handmade Corn Tortillas



Location: 1515 Jamacha Way, El Cajon, CA 92019

Date & Time: 05/13/2016 – 11AM – 2 PM

All proceeds from this fund raising event are going towards purchasing a much needed back-up generator for our facility. Any and all donations towards this need would be greatly appreciated.

You can R.S.V.P by Calling (619) 590-1515 or

 Buy online here

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Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that the search for the right facility can be very overwhelming and our hope is to make this transition as easy as possible for all of our potential residents and their families. Here we have compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions to assist you in your initial search. Our administrative team is more than happy to answer any additional questions you may have! You may contact our administrator, Susan Sorenson, at (619) 590-1515 for more information or to schedule a tour of our facility.

Each resident is assessed upon admittance for a personalized plan of care. Currently we offer independent and assisted living based on the individual level of need.

We have an LVN on staff as well as several knowledgeable medical technicians daily to assist the patients as need may arise.

The price of our facility includes a private OR shared room, the personalized attention and care of our wonderful staff, distribution of any medication as needed, a call button, laundry and housekeeping services, daily activities for all of our residents (and their families) to enjoy, outings to local shopping, the service of our handy on-site maintenance team, and 3 daily meals and snacks.

There is a onetime community fee, which is subject to change or promotion. Aside from that, the only fees not included in the package are transportation off site to and from doctors appointments (roundtrip is $20/visit, and the company of a caregiver to stay with them is an additional $30/visit if needed), and a $5 tray service per meal if the resident chooses to dine in their room, unless there is a medical need which makes it difficult for them to join the other residents in the dining room.

All of our rooms are light and spacious with high ceilings, and include two generous walk in closets, a small kitchenette with refrigerator, and a large private bathroom. Each is equipped with self controlled heating and air. Each also has its own private balcony or patio area with fantastic views! They come furnished or unfurnished – it’s completely up to you!

Our two story hacienda style building is situated on 9 acres of lovely manicured grounds, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Our facility boasts picturesque landscaping, walking trails to enjoy the wonderful San Diego sunshine, a small orchard of fruit and nut trees, a central courtyard, a full activity and game room (BINGO anyone?!) and five lounges throughout the building that are available for our residents and their families to use for any special events or meetings. And the crowning jewel is our chapel – with floor to ceiling stained glass windows, from which Father David Leon leads Mass daily.

Our facility is operated by The Chaldean Sisters Daughters of Mary Immaculate Conception, who live in a convent on the grounds. We are also thrilled to offer a daily Mass for our residents, their families, and our neighbors in the community; however you do not need to be Catholic to reside here. In fact, about half of our current residents are of other faiths and denominations.

We are not a locked facility but we will assess each resident to ensure our facility is a perfect fit.

We proudly emphasis the quality of life and socialization amongst our residents and offer a full range of activities for them to enjoy daily, all of which are facilitated by our wonderful staff Activities Coordinators. These activities include (but are certainly not limited to) BINGO, penny poker, scenic rides, outings to local shopping establishments, chair exercise classes, movie nights, ice cream socials, daily coffee socials, Wii bowling, walking groups, and balloon volleyball. We are also fortunate enough to have numerous volunteers from the community who gladly give their time to come entertain the residents with music, dancing, motivational speaking, and various other performances.

Every day we offer a hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner approved by registered dieticians. It is rotated seasonally, and each rotation is on a 5 week plan, so the residents have a good variety. There is also an alternate menu for lunch and dinner if the resident does not care for what is being offered that day. All food is prepared onsite by our chefs and the kitchen staff is happy to accommodate every residents needs.

At Good Samaritan we always strive to make family feel included in the care of the resident. You are welcome to visit us at any time – join your loved one for a meal, participate in an activity, or host a family function. Regularly scheduled visiting hours are 9AM to 9PM, however we are happy to accommodate outside of those hours if there is ever a need.

The resident’s wellbeing and safety are our first priority. As such, we are fully outfitted with security cameras throughout the building – inside and out. We are a gated community that opens at 5:30 AM and closes again nightly at 7PM, with a call box to monitor any visitations after that time.

You’re Invited! Calling All Performers!

Need to practice performing or looking for opportunities to make a difference in the lives of seniors of El Cajon?  We are looking for people of many talents to come and entertain/perform for our residents at our 60 resident facility.  Many of our residents are unable to leave the facility and love to have musical, dancing, or motivational/educational speaking guest come. We are looking for groups and/or individuals willing and able to volunteer 30-60 minutes of their time to making their day just a little brighter.

If interested, please contact our Activity Director at (619)590-1515 or come visit our facility at 1515 Jamacha Way El Cajon, CA 92019