About the Restorative Process

The restorative process of rebuilding the San Jose Catholic Church in Colonias, New Mexico will be done in three phases: First, the front wall is falling down and needs to be rebuilt, so this will be the first phase of the restorative process. Second, we are looking to get sponsorship for doors, windows, and for the west wall of the church - this will be imperative for sealing up the envelope of the church so we can move onto the next phase of the project, interior repairs. Interior repairs will consist of installing and reinstalling decorative elements, including pew and alter placement. Throughout the project it is important to us that we similarly replicate the original feel of the church so that we honor those before us, as well as setting a good example for generations to come.

History of San Jose Catholic Church

Spanning close to three centuries, the San Jose Catholic Church and Ministry has been a center fixture for the people of Colonias, New Mexico. San Jose was built up in three phases over it’s history. First, during it’s inception in the 1700s when it was just a small adobe building with a rock foundation. Then in the 1820s the second section was constructed. The third phase, it’s largest - when the three towers were erected, was during the first half of the 20th century when the town was at it’s largest.

History of Colonias, New Mexico

The name ‘Colonias’ is open to several interpretations: colonies, plantations, ranches, neighborhoods, as well as communities. The settlement, established in the 1780s, originally was called Las Colonias and is one of the oldest settlements on New Mexico’s high eastern plains. Early villagers were farmers as well as sheep herders and hunted buffalo during the fall months. Populations have fluctuated in the town, and were estimated to have had a population of around 850 during the 1930’s, and 40’s. The town’s cemetery is located on the grounds of the San Jose Catholic Church, so holds the history of many generations who have called Las Colonias home.

Contribute to the Restoration

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Shown above are a few examples of how we're trying to raise money to restore our historical church. If you'd like to contribute, even a little, please visit our fundraising page to see how you can help be a part. Click here to contribute!

photo taken by Jim Gautier

'Colonias, NM', Photo by: Jim Gautier
Purchase fundraising prints here.