Prints: Otero County Franciscan Missions 2

Lady of Guadalupe Mission

George Bent donated land, at the height of the copper strike, for this mission. It was built with the help of Los Hermanos Franciscans, probably between 1912 and 1916. Windows came from another mission in the Mescalero area. In 1975 this picturesque mission was torn down to accommodate the highway changes.

Nuestra Senora de La Luz
The first Masses in the village were held in private homes. Eight families representing pioneer settlers of La Luz were instrumental in starting a mission under Father Fernando Ortiz in 1916, on land donated by Canuto Reyes. It was built with the adobe from an old house. Earlier, there may have been other chapels up La Luz Canyon, as the story goes that in 1921 the bell was moved to the little church in La Luz from such a chapel. The sacristy addition was built in 1939.
Sacred Heart Church

Sacred Heart Church was originally the local Baptist community of faith until the Catholic Church purchased it in 1920. It was located on US Hwy. 82 and has always been known as “Church of the Woods”. Sacred Heart has historically been a mission of the Catholic Church in La Luz, NM. Sacred Heart Church was rebuilt in another location in Cloudcroft in the 1980’s.

St. Anthony’s Church

St. Anthony’s Church was built in 1927. The Franciscan Brothers established it. The adobe structure contains a painting of the crucifixion surrounded by small Italian tiles. In 1947, the steps leading to the church were built and the banisters that were added were constructed from local rock.





St. Patricio – St. Bridget Chapel

Built in 1919, St. Patricio-St. Bridget Chapel was the vision of Father Braun, who wanted a chapel located in areas of the reservation that he could not regularly reach. The generous financial gift of two East Coast nuns provided the resources to build the small chapel. After many years of neglect, the chapel has recently been renovated.

St. Joseph’s Church

Sitting on Hwy. 70 as it winds its way through the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation, St. Joseph’s is the realized dream of Father Albert W. Braun. Braun, a young Franciscan Friar, arrived at the reservation in 1916, following service in World War I. Braun started construction with few funds and the help of local Mescaleros. The church was completed in 1939. Among many stunning features contained in the church is the icon, “The Apache Christ,” behind the altar.

St. Francisco de Paula Church

Located in Tularosa, San Francisco de Paula Church was built in 1865. The church was built as a place of peace and tranquility. Church history tells that local residents built the church in response to a military victory over Indians in the region. The women and children prayed to St. Francis during the battle, pledging to build a church to their patron saint if they prevailed in the battle of Round Mountain. True to their word, the church was built. San Francisco de Paula Church received a major renovation in 1956.

Capilla de Santo Nino de Atoche

This small place of worship, with religious tiles and sacred pictures on the walls and handcrafted metal light fixtures, was designated as a shrine in 1968. It was built in 1916, under Father Fernando Ortiz. After it fell into a state of decay, Thomas Ryan III, who bought the Albert Fall Ranch, had it restored. He also helped set up the fourteen Stations of the Cross around the little white adobe building.