Our Lady of Miracles
Los Cerrillos, New Mexico
Karen Rivera 2010
Nambe Pueblo, New Mexico
I shoot a lot of cemetaries. For heart-rending, technicolor boisterous displays, you just can’t beat a New Mexican cemetary on Easter, Day of the Dead or Christmas. I’ve made it to my favorite, the Nambe Church cemetary in Nambe, every Boxing Day for most of the last 20 years. I follow that up with New Year’s Day in Acoma. It seems to make the perfect emotional double-header.
I found this small, weathered cross tucked away in a far corner surrounded by tumbleweeds and scruffy dead plants. The new flowers shows that this lonely hidden grave hadn’t been forgotten.
Church at Sanctuario, 1950’s
Chimayo, New Mexico
Scanned Vintage Postcard
This vintage postcard of Sanctuario left me stunned. I’ve shot hundreds of photographs of the church but I never saw it as a real small Northern New Mexican town chuch like those scattered all over the state until I found this postcard.
The small villages along Highway 55 have always held a special place in my hard-scrabble New Mexican heart. Using the few resources available in the barren, harsh acres early settlers recycled the ever-present rocks into homes, walls, and churches.
In Punta de Agua, the rough-cut stone San Antonio Church stands as a monument to an earlier example of sustainable and green building.
If you’d like to walk through Punta de Agua at street level, click here to go to Google Maps, then click satellite.
The village of San Ysidro, originally a farming settlement, was named after Saint Isidore the Farmer in 1699. San Ysidro holds an annual Fiesta in his honor each year in mid-May.
My favorite kinds of church services are ones that happen outdoors. There’s just something about a group of people singing hymns outside under a blue sky early on Sunday morning that touches me. It seems to be more of a direct spiritual connection when the sound echoes directly up to the sky without a roof in the way.
Chasing down an overheard reference in an Old Colorado Springs coffee shop, I stumbled on another of Colorado’s unexpected treats. Driving through most small towns, you wonder where the end of town is. In Penrose, 35 miles south on 115, you won’t have that problem. The town ends after a few blocks when the paved road abruptly does.The town has no stop lights, a volunteer fire department, and almost no problems except for what seems to be a group of entitled clowns.
The Sunday I stopped by the Cowboy Church, there were more horses than cars. The steam rising in the cold air from riders and the huffing of the horses was a scene out of a cowgirl’s dream. When they read the Rodeo Cowboy’s prayer at the end of the service in memory of long lost friends, I wasn’t the only one in tears.
Rodeo Cowboy’s Prayer
Our gracious and heavenly Father, we pause in the midst of this festive
occasion, mindful and thoughtful of the guidance that you have given us.
As cowboys, Lord, we don’t ask for any special favors.
We ask only that you let us compete in this arena.
We don’t ask to never break a barrier,
or to draw a round of steer that’s hard to throw,
or a chute fighting horse, or a bull that is impossible to ride.
We only ask that you help us to compete as honest as the horses we ride
and in a manner as clean and pure as the wind
that blows across this great land of ours.
So when we do make that last ride
that is inevitable for us all to make, to that place up there,
where the grass is green and lush and stirrup high,
that you’ll tell us as we ride in that our entry fees have been paid.
These things we ask.
© Clem McSpadden. In memory of Howard Manuel, Jim Moore and Zachary Vanwhy.
The Assisi Sisters
Hanging with Claire and Agnes in Taos
Sunday Morning in the Garden of the Gods
Dancing St. Francis
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
Karen Rivera 2009
No Pennies, Please
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Saint Ray of Richardsville
Taos, New Mexico