This year, just as last year, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe bowed down to calls from the far-left demanding the cancellation of everything from church service to outdoor walks of faith, meant to be a pilgrimage–a sacrifice–to honor Jesus Christ’s ultimate payment for our sins on the Cross. Of course, they demanded these cancellations due to “COVID-19.”
In typical fashion, per usual with the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe, which unfortunately remains mostly limp and actionless in the face of true struggle (such as fights against abortion and assisted suicide), decided to cancel the annual pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayó–“no doubt the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States,” described as the “Lourdes of America.”
“Since the pandemic is still with us and we do not want to invite the spread of the Coronavirus via super spreader event like a pilgrimage with tens of thousands of people, the El Santuario de Chimayó will be closed on Good Friday,” the church wrote on its Facebook page. “We are sorry that it has to be this way, but we’re hoping next year will allow for a return to the beloved pilgrimage as in the past.”
Not only did the church forbid visiting the sacred site itself, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe “strongly discouraged” people from even walking to El Santuario de Chimayó and a similar trek to Tome Hill Park in Los Lunas
El Santuario de Chimayó is a venerable place of worship for centuries, with incredible stories of faith bringing forth healing. According to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, “El Santuario has been a place of worship from the beginning – a place to pray, to thank, to ask, to meditate and to experience peace of mind as well as of body.”
Here is an excerpt from the history of the church, per the Archdiocese:
One tradition recalls that during Holy Week on the night of Good Friday, Don Bernardo Abeyta, who was a member in good standing of the Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jes6s el Nazareno (Penitentes) was performing the customary penances of the Society around the hills of El Potrero. Suddenly he saw a light springing from one of the slopes of the hills near the Santa Cruz River. Don Bernardo went to the spot and noticed that the shining light was coming from the ground. He started to dig with his bare hands, and there he found a Crucifix. He left it there and called the neighbors to come and venerate the precious finding. A group of men was sent to notify the priest, Fr. Sebastian Alvarez at Santa Cruz.
Upon hearing the extraordinary news, the priest and people set out for Chimayo. When they arrived at the place where the Crucifix was, Fr. Sebastian picked it up and carried it in a joyful procession back to the church. Once in the church, the Crucifix was placed in the niche of the main altar. The next morning, the Crucifix was gone, only to be found in its original location. A second procession was organized and the Crucifix was returned to Santa Cruz, but once again it disappeared, The same thing happened a third time. By then, everyone understood that El Sefior de Esquipulas wanted to remain in Chimayo, and so a small chapel was built.
So, if such spiritual healing and miracles have taken place here at El Santuario de Chimayó, then why now cower in fear, in a time when such miraculous healing and prayer by the Faithful are needed now more than ever? Especially pilgrimages which are done OUTSIDE IN THE FRESH AIR--the absolute safest place to be during a pandemic.
Despite the church being shuttered by the Archdiocese, New Mexicans searching for healing made and are making the journey to El Santuario De Chimayó anyway, many searching for healing.
Danielle Lovato, who was interviewed with her husband by the Santa Fe New Mexican says, “I decided that in order for me to get through this journey in this chapter in my life that I need to get my faith as strong as it can be.” She continued, “And I did one treatment, and before that one treatment we walked from the exact same place — and my treatment went well.”
“Lovato and her husband walked again Wednesday, the day before her second chemotherapy appointment. She said after a four-hour treatment Thursday she felt great and was able to play with her son, crediting it to her strong relationship with God,” reports the New Mexican.
“I believe it’s the perfect time for people to reflect on God and how great [He] is,” said Lovato. “This pandemic was very scary, and here we are a year later and it’s all thanks be to God.”
Others from across New Mexico and the world have refused to shut down and be scared along with the so-called “leadership” of the Catholic Church in New Mexico. Despite what Archbishop Charles Wester or any other such man of the cloth may use to justify the hollow stance, the Faithful will keep on walking in their faith and in their actions to honor Jesus Christ, the savior of the world this Easter.