Save the Questa Church

The San Antonio de Padua church in Questa, New Mexico was built in the mid 19th century and is the oldest existing structure in the community. But a recent collapse of the west wall has made it uninhabitable and dangerous to parishioners. Several options were presented to parish members for their approval in a recent survey: 1. Restore the church in traditional adobe, 2. Tear down the old church and rebuild it using modern materials, 3. Save the vigas but rebuild the church with a widened design, or 4. Rebuild the church in a new location. The combined results favored rebuilding the church in its current location, although a recent report by the Taos News states that the archdiocese will not provide a new structure if the community cannot raise the funds. (http://taosnews.com/articles/2009/08/04/news/doc4a7329c37755c537934122.txt) The governing body of the village of Questa has passed a resolution to support the renovation of the church in order to preserve this historical landmark, and the mayor of Questa has asked that no action be taken until he can sit down and meet with Archbishop Michael Sheehan to discuss all options. Demolition may nonetheless be carried out in August despite the concerns of the parish. Protesters seeking to save the church numbered over a hundred during a recent rally on Monday July 26th, singing hymns and leaving rosaries, prayer cards, and candles at the fence that now closes the property. The San Antonio de Padua church is the heart of the Questa plaza, which still retains integrity as the center of the community. Without the church, the plaza will no longer exist as a historical landmark of Questa. This petition serves as an appeal to the archdiocese of Santa Fe to rehabilitate the church according to the wishes of the Questa community, leadership, and parish members. Help us get to 1,000 signatures by 30 August 2009. Signatures will be sent to the archdiocese of Santa Fe with the following letter. We the undersigned care about the history of Questa and believe the San Antonio de Padua church to be the heart of the community and vital to the preservation of Questa Heritage and culture. Please rehabilitate the church according to the wishes of the Questa community, leadership, and parish members. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

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Concerned Citizens

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