San Antonio de Padua
See text below the photos
San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church
San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church was founded in 1832 in Córdova,NM. The town of Córdova was founded as Pueblo Quemado in about 1749, and wasrenamed Córdova, after a member of a pioneer family in the area, when the postoffice was opened in 1900.
San Antonio is a mission of Holy Family Parish in nearbyChimayó. Mass is celebrated at San Antonio only a few times a year, includingon the feast day of Saint Anthony de Padua in June and during Holy Week,
The church houses retablos (altar screens) and numerousbultos (carvings of saints) by José Rafael Aragón (1795-1862), a famous NewMexico santero (carver). The retablos include images of St. Gertrude the Great,Our Lady of Sorrows, the Franciscan Shield, St. Peter the Apostle, St. Raphaelthe Archangel, St. Michael the Archangel, Our Lady Refuge of Sinners, and St.Claire of Assisi. The bultos include 22 carvings of Jesus, Our Lady ofGuadalupe, Saint Anthony, and numerous other saints.
A major project in 2021 - 2022 cleaned, repaired andpreserved the retablos and bultos of the church. The project was organized byNuevo México Profundo and brought together master santeros Victor Goler, Felix Lopez and Jerry Sandoval.Nuevo México Profundo is a non-profit that has been working since 2019 topreserve the churches and culture of northern New Mexico.
Thanks to Angelo J. Sandoval, the mayordomo of San Antonio dePadua, who graciously opened the church so I could get photographs and to sharehis knowledge of the church and preservation work with me. Jerry Sandoval, oneof the master santeros who worked on the restoration project, is his uncle.
Location: 185 CR 80, Córdova, NM
Coordinates: 36.0073367, 105.8599983
For more information, see
Boyle, Molly. “Master Santeros Save the Sacred,” New Mexico Magazine. November 2, 2022. https://www.newmexicomagazine.org/blog/post/cordova-st-anthonys-master-santeros/.
Tashji, Michael. “Resurrecting a Rural Church’s Treasures in New Mexico.” Santa Fe New Mexican. https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/resurrecting-a-rural-church-s-treasures-in-new-mexico/article_f35a4d40-4181-11ec-a84c-eb5bfe900f66.html.
This link will take you to more information about Nuevo México Profundo, including an opportunity to donate to their work, https://www.nuevo-mexico-profundo.com/