“Taos Pueblo – St. Jerome Church”

I recently returned from a “Road Trip” with my sister.  We went to Santa Fe and Taos and loved the sense of land, sense of architecture and sense of Spirit and sense of culture.  New Mexico is truly the Land of Enchantment.  Next my next photography blog will include additional images from our trip.  Enjoy! 

“The present San Geronimo, or St. Jerome, Chapel was completed in 1850 to replace the original church which was destroyed in the War with Mexico by the U.S. Army in 1847. That church, the ruins still evident on the west side of the village, was first built in 1619. It was then destroyed in the Spanish Revolt of 1680 but soon rebuilt on the same site. St. Jerome is the patron saint of Taos Pueblo.
The Pueblo Indians are about 90% Catholic. Catholicism is practiced along with the ancient Indian religious rites which are an important part of Taos Pueblo life. The Pueblo religion is very complex; however, there is no conflict with the Catholic church, as evidenced by the prominent presence of both church and kiva in the village.”   ~~~   adapted from the Taos Pueblo website

 

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“The Land of Enchantment”

New Mexico exemplifies  color, art, spirituality and breathtaking landscapes.  It has  a heritage of Indian, Anglo, and Hispanic cultures that cannot be found in any other state in the union. From prehistoric times until the present, cultures and tribes have journeyed through New Mexico’s land to create the incredible diversity that marks its vibrant culture. 

New Mexico is awesome beauty in many forms…

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“Kateri Tekakwitha 1656-1680”

Kateri Tekakwitha was the first Indian of North America to be promoted to a Saint.

“The blood of martyrs is the seed of saints. Nine years after the Jesuits Isaac Jogues and John de Brébeuf were tomahawked by Iroquois warriors, a baby girl was born near the place of their martyrdom, Auriesville, New York.

Her mother was a Christian Algonquin, taken captive by the Iroquois and given as wife to the chief of the Mohawk clan, the boldest and fiercest of the Five Nations. When she was four, Kateri lost her parents and little brother in a smallpox epidemic that left her disfigured and half blind. She was adopted by an uncle, who succeeded her father as chief. He hated the coming of the Blackrobes (Jesuit missionaries), but could do nothing to them because a peace treaty with the French required their presence in villages with Christian captives. She was moved by the words of three Blackrobes who lodged with her uncle, but fear of him kept her from seeking instruction. She refused to marry a Mohawk brave and at 19 finally got the courage to take the step of converting. She was baptized with the name Kateri (Catherine) on Easter Sunday.

Now she would be treated as a slave. Because she would not work on Sunday, she received no food that day. Her life in grace grew rapidly. She told a missionary that she often meditated on the great dignity of being baptized. She was powerfully moved by God’s love for human beings and saw the dignity of each of her people.

She was always in danger, for her conversion and holy life created great opposition. On the advice of a priest, she stole away one night and began a 200-mile walking journey to a Christian Indian village at Sault St. Louis, near Montreal.

For three years she grew in holiness under the direction of a priest and an older Iroquois woman, giving herself totally to God in long hours of prayer, in charity, and in strenuous penance. At 23, she took a vow of virginity, an unprecedented act for an Indian woman, whose future depended on being married. She found a place in the woods where she could pray an hour a day—and was accused of meeting a man there!

Her dedication to virginity was instinctive: She did not know about religious life for women until she visited Montreal. Inspired by this, she and two friends wanted to start a community, but the local priest dissuaded her. She humbly accepted an “ordinary” life. She practiced extremely severe fasting as penance for the conversion of her nation. She died the afternoon before Holy Thursday. Witnesses said that her emaciated face changed color and became like that of a healthy child. The lines of suffering, even the pockmarks, disappeared and the touch of a smile came upon her lips. She was beatified in 1980 and canonized in 2012.”      ~~~   Franciscan Media

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“Sanctuary de Chimayo”

 

 

“The compound maintained by the Sons of the Holy Family contains two buildings of particular historical significance. The first is El Santuario de Chimayo, the tiny shrine that is built on the site of what many believe to be a miracle associated with the crucifix of “Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas” (Our Lord of Esquipulas).

El Santuario de Chimayo is also the site of “el pocito” the small pit of Holy Dirt which many people attribute as possessing remarkable curative powers…”

 

  “…It has been said that the discarded crutches, canes, braces, wheelchairs, and messages of thanksgiving that hang from the adobe walls in the prayer room are proof of the miracles of Chimayo. Still, while many people have left their crutches and walked away cured, the Church has never sought to officially confirm or deny any of the miracles…”   ~~~   from the Sanctuary de Chimayo website

Each year there is a walking holy pilgrimage to the Sanctuary de Chimayo at Easter.  

People walk from all over the state for days as part of this spiritual journey.  A visit here is both holy and reverent.

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“The Call to Enter…”

                                    “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”                                                       ~~~   Aldous Huxley                                            

 

“Be an opener of doors”    ~~~   Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, 

and gives us the ‘right stuff’ to turn our dreams into reality.”   ~~~   James Womack

                                                                                         

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you...”   ~~~   Joseph Campbell
 
 
“Often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”   ~~~   Helen Keller
 
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“Stained Glass”

Stained glass can be an interesting photography exploration.  Elements of design can be captured with a brilliant dynamic range of color.  There is something truly holy and magnificent about stained glass windows.

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“People are like stained-glass windows.

They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,

but when the darkness sets in,

their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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“Light and Shadow”

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Perception is a key element with photography.  One can pursue a unique level of creativity by accepting the challenge to create composition with shadows.  A viewer can then perceive the key element of composition with a personal interpretation based on experience.  The challenge is to really be present with the environment around you.

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“The Nature of One’s Nature”

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Needless to say, I did not take this photograph of myself.  However, I actually like it very much.  It was spontaneous, in the moment, and captured me pursuing my passion – the art of photography.  A simple photograph; yet, it portrays joy and aliveness.  It truly reflects the nature of one’s nature when one is connected to life and purpose.  So, I ask … what would your self portrait look like?  Have you found your passion in life and are you pursuing it?  If so, my smile is your smile and my joy is your joy.  Thank you to my beloved friend, Margy.  This photograph was taken of me as I was doing a family portrait of 17 relatives who surprised Margy for her 90th birthday.  I love you, Margy!

 

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