St. Anthony’s Catholic Church

Bill and I love to visit old churches, and we are delighted we have the opportunity to actually attend Mass in an old historic church right here in Questa, New Mexico. St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, also known as San Antonio de Padua, in Questa, was built in the mid-1800s by the first families of what was then the village of San Antonio del Rio Colorado. In 2008, a portion of the church collapsed, and officials with the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe contemplated tearing it down, but members of the Questa community raised more than $1 million to restore it.

Sunday morning Bill and I waited around all morning to attend the 11:00 mass at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, because 11:00 was the only scheduled english mass. We arrived a little early, and I took my camera so I could capture some pictures before the church filled with people.

The woodwork and carvings in the church are stunning,

and the stained glass windows throughout the church are beautiful. Each window was handmade and donated by members of the Questa community.

The church is decorated with love and care.

The small side-alter that is used for daily mass is also beautiful, and thought-provoking.

Even the choir loft is spectacular.

As we sat in the church awaiting mass, I said my prayers, and meditated on the labor of love the people in the community of Questa put into restoring this beautiful old church. There was such a sense of pride and accomplishment.

My thoughts were disrupted when several people started talking in the back of the church, and we heard one person say the priest had not arrived and there was not going to be a mass. Bill and I thought that was strange and funny, but apparently, in many small catholic communities, it is not uncommon for one priest to have responsibility for saying mass in several churches. Anyway that’s the thought we’re sticking with.

There is also an interesting prayer park just around the back of the church.

The prayer park has 14 wooden crosses, one for each of the 14 stations of the cross. It brought me back to my Catholic School childhood days, when we attended mass everyday before school, and attended the stations of the cross every first Friday of the month.

Even though we were not able to attend Mass, and receive Holy Communion, this Sunday, I am filled with hope that the priest being a no-show, was an isolated incident, and we look forward to attending Mass at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Questa, next Sunday.

Up Next: Taos Pueblo

Stay Tuned!

AWESOME

That’s what this whole Questa and Taos area is, Shantel, just awesome!

Yesterday, papa and I drove a loop that took us to through the Village of Red River which is a lovely snow ski resort area, Eagle’s Nest which is a beautiful drive, and where we stopped to visit a Vietnam Memorial, which was very emotional, especially for papa, since he is a Vietnam Vet himself, and we finished our trip in Taos, which is a little Village with lots of shops and places to eat so that is where we decided to have lunch.

The first stop along our was at the church we will attend while we are here. St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. We wanted to make sure we know where it is, and what time Sunday Mass is. We liked it right off as they seem to have a sense of humor. There were three signs in the parking lot, one said parking for the Priest, one said parking for the Deacon, and there was a sign in between those two signs that said Thou shalt not park here. Ha! The church is also a historic building and listed on the things to see in Questa. More on that later.

The landscape in this area is just amazing with lots of high soaring mountains covered with trees and all sorts of rock formations.

As we were driving along, all of a sudden, a group of Big Horn Sheep came out of the trees, and stood right along the side of the road. They stood there long enough for me to be able to snap a quick picture, then they were off again.

The little Village of Red River is small, but of course it has lots of shops and places to eat. Right behind the Village is the ski lift that takes folks up the mountain so they can ski back down the snow-covered mountains in the winter. It’s a big attraction for the Village in the winter months, and attracts visitors from all over the world.

The Vietnam Memorial had a heart touching sign right at the entrance that reads “welcome home veterans.” So touching because, like papa has said many times, those veterans never got a hero’s welcome, or for many, no welcome home at all. I read a sign that said the Vietnam war was a young man’s war, and that the average age of boys that went to fight that war was 19. Sadly, war is decided by old men and women, and fought by young men and women. Not all , but a lot of the men that fought that war were drafted and felt they were doing what they had to do.

There were pictures of veterans all around the grounds,

and a full size Huey helicopter, that was used to carry troops in and out of the battlefields.

Inside the Huey helicopter was a plaque of the same kind of helicopter sitting beside the pilot’s seat.

They have a lovely mediation chapel. Just as you enter the chapel there were three rows of padded seats with boxes of kleenex spaced appropriately apart. So touching, and needed, because it is a very emotional experience.

As you move further into the chapel you see wreaths of flowers, and candles, and personal effects people have placed in memory of their loved ones.

As you are leaving the chapel you pass the American flag, and a Prisoner of War (POW) flag that says “you are not forgotten.” Oh, Shantel, I know if you could see the vastness of the world we live in, you would say, what are we fighting about, isn’t this world big enough for all of us to share, without boundaries, and just live in peace…?

When we left the memorial, we made our way to the Village of Taos, and had a wonderful lunch at Michael’s Kitchen which was highly recommended by the locals. It is a restaurant, and they have their own on-site bakery.

I had the Derek’s special, not sure how Derek got into Michael’s kitchen, but what he made is his take on a cheese steak sandwich. It had thinly sliced steak, red bell peppers, mushrooms, green chili’s, onions, all covered with provolone cheese and wrapped in a fresh, homemade, flour tortilla. It wasn’t paleo, but it sure was delicious! It came with fries but I didn’t eat them. The wrap was enough for me.

The bakery section of Michael’s has cinnamon rolls, and other sweet rolls, that are as big as a baby’s head. We didn’t partake in any of those, but I thought about you, and how much you would have loved picking out one of them.

It was a wonderful first outing, and we are very excited to continue to explore and enjoy this AWESOME state of New Mexico.

Papa and I love and miss you.

Stay Tuned!

Having An Adventure

Well, Shantel, we finally made it to Questa, New Mexico. When I researched the area this is part of what I read. “Questa is a small village in Taos county, New Mexico. Renowned for the beautiful scenery surrounding the small historic village. The village offers rare trails into the Rio Grande Gorge, and mountain lakes with trails that access the highest reaches of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, overlooking the area. Located on the Enchanted Circle Byway, near the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Red River”.

Papa and I just can’t hardly wait to begin exploring all there is to see here. You know we love hiking, so this area is a dreamland adventure for us. But getting here was an “adventure” of its own. You know how when things don’t go as planned Papa always says “it’s an adventure”? Well somewhere between Gallup, New Mexico, and Questa, we stopped for lunch at a rest area. That’s where we found out the steps that are supposed to come out when we open the door and retract when we are ready to drive down the road failed to operate properly. They were stuck halfway. Not all the way out, and not all the way in. So Papa had his first “adventure” crawling under the rig and tying the steps up with a rope. That worked well enough to get us going on down the road. However, let me tell you, it is not easy, or a pretty sight, getting in and out of the rig with no steps. Needless to say, Papa is ordering the part needed to fix the problem.

The next time we made a pit stop, I noticed something brown on the counter just under the spice cabinet. Upon further inspection, I found out a bottle of liquid smoke didn’t have the top closed securely, and spilled out all over the spice cabinet and onto the countertop below. Thus, I had my first little “adventure” as I cleaned it all up.

When we finally arrived at our RV Park in Questa, and I started checking to see if anything shifted around in the cabinets while we were traveling down the road, and what do I find but my second little “adventure”. A bottle of honey, that was on the top shelf in the spice cabinet, tipped over and apparently the flip top came up and lots of sticky honey spilled out all over most of the spice jars on the lower shelf, and of course, all over the lower shelf itself… That was not fun to clean up, but I did it, and all is well again. 🙂

Finally, after a long “adventurous” day, Papa and I cooked fresh salmon and sautéed leeks for our dinner, and settled in for the night. It was raining when I went to bed and rained off and on throughout the night. When I got up in the morning and was having my coffee, I looked out the window, and just across the street is a beautiful mountain that was blanketed in snow, and it was only 33 degrees. You well know how much I don’t like to be cold…But the sun is shining as I write this, and the weather channel says it is supposed to be in the mid 80’s by the end of the week. Now I can handle that. 🙂

Today I spent the day getting the rig back in order on the inside while Papa got everything settled on the outside.

Tomorrow, we are heading out on our first day trip. We are going to go towards the Red River area to see what all we can find there.

We love and miss you Shantel.

Stay tuned for more of our expeditions/adventures.

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