Historic San Antonio Church

 

It was in 2006 that the west wall of Questa’s historic church collapsed.  Our church was built in the mid-1800’s by the first families of what was then the village of San Antonio del Rio Colorado.

Undaunted, today’s descendants of those original builders spent years hard at work restoring our traditional adobe church to its former glory.  The structure was re-consecrated in the summer of 2016.

Volunteer laborers had been working almost non-stop since winning their struggle with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe for permission to begin restoration.  The Archdiocese believed the damage to the structure was too great to bother with and favored replacing the historic heart of this community with a simpler, modern structure.  Thankfully a lot of faith, lobbying, determination, and compromise prevailed.

The fixtures inside the church were not damaged; the beautiful Stations of the Cross were all saved.  Volunteers worked with our USDA Forest Service staff to choose and fell trees, milling new timbers for the structure in the same ways that our families did generations ago.  The new stained glass was made here by local craftspeople.

Young, old, Catholic, or not; Volunteer workers gathered Saturdays from 8a.m. to noon, and beyond.  After a blessing by the priest; work began and lunch awaited all helpers, for seven years.

Much fund-raising occured; from custom truck raffles, to dances, the selling of memorial adobes from the original structure, and hand-sewn quilts created by parishioners.   Many hours of professional labor was donated, but some materials had to be paid for; and the donations were greatly appreciated.

Today this historic site is re-consecrated and again an important hub of the community.  It is also a site of pilgrimage for local artists who paint the beautiful architecture beneath the soaring mountains, and for local craftspeople who take inspiration from the re-created fixtures and features.

The church is always open during daylight hours and welcomes all guests.

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