Thursday Doors: Catholic Charities of Santa Clara

The building that houses Catholic Charities of Santa Clara has a magnificent main door on E. San Fernando Street in San Jose. This door does not get a lot of use, however. Most of the people coming and going from the building use a door at the side, on N. 5th Street.

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara, E. San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA.

The reason for this is probably that many of their programs’ participants use mobility devices. Also, N. 5th Street is a cul-de-sac so there is little traffic and lots of places available for people to sit and/or visit the Recovery Cafe.

Recovery Cafe is a welcoming place for people who have been traumatized by addictions, mental health challenges, and homelessness. It is fitting that the two buildings sit across from each other, both serving and advocating for families and individuals in need.

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara, E. San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA.

Despite the lovely tilework, neither of the doors to the Catholic Charities building draws much attention, and when I was taking these photographs I was asked why I was doing so. When I asked a passer-by on E. San Fernando Street what the building was, she didn’t know. It has no sign indicating its identity or purpose.

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara, Side door on N 5th Street, San Jose, CA.

It isn’t until you go to the side door that you see a small sign identifying Catholic Charities of Santa Clara. It seems appropriate that its signage is so humble.


For more Thursday Doors go to Norm 2.0.


  1. It seems appropriate that its signage is so humble.

    In case those despicable anti-patriotic, god-hating militant atheists start marching up and down waving placards.

  2. That is a magnificent door. I think I would be tempted to use the side door as well.

  3. Luckily there are door lovers around to document these cool places. What a find! You mentioned that someone wondered why you were even taking a picture of this place – hello? isn’t it obvious? I actually had someone laugh at me for taking a picture of an old door in Quebec. There was some kind of exchange going on in French about the crazy lady taking a picture of a door. Their loss. I had a great picture, for Thursday doors, they didn’t.

  4. Interesting! One of my best friends volunteers at Recovery Cafe. It is a wonderful resource. And yet again, I have never noticed the Catholic Charities doors or building. I thought I lived here in SJ for 52 years so far but now I keep wondering where I have actually spent my time!! Quite a shock. Love your Thursday Doors.

    • A few years ago I took yoga classes at the Recovery Cafe. They were using the funds from the classes to support their programs.

      Those doors on E San Fernando street have trees in front which probably hide the entry when they are in leaf. And, not many people are wandering about looking for things to look at, as I do. 🙂

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