Sacred Images, Artwork, and Antique Furniture 
Holy Cross Retreat Center
Information taken from the items and conversations
with J. Paul Taylor, Fr. Marcos Reyna, Fr. Joshe Duplissey, and others
 March 24, 2011

(If you would like to see all those identified, begin in the Chapel in the atrium and follow as indicated.)

The friars and Board of Directors felt that a smaller chapel was needed for community prayer and small groups.  It was designed in 1976 by Chan Graham of Albuquerque with aspects of a Native American kiva.  The stained glass window was made by Graham and his helpers. 

The double arched doors were carved by Albuquerque woodcarver Miguel Weber with a Franciscan coat of arms on the outside.  The nichos, niches were designed to hold antique santos (religious articles).   The altar, podium, chairs, and candle holder were made and donated by Phil Shannon, a Serra Club member. 

The main crucifix in the center is possibly from Tularosa and made by a local artist.  The painting on metal behind it was commissioned by Fr. Marcos Reyna and Fr. Joshe Duplissey, and painted by Rosiemarie López Stuyck in about 1995.  The top right panel includes images of three friars,Marcos Reyna, John Weber, and Joshe Duplissey, and others who assisted here at the time.



  The statue of Jesús Nazareno to the left came from the Catholic Church in Chamberino, NM.  The people of the church needed money for repairs.  They asked Paul Taylor if he would like to buy the statue for about $300.00.  He was hesitant to do so, but asked the Board for the Retreat Center if they would like to raise money to buy it for the Chapel.  The statue would then stay in the community and people could come here whenever they liked.  It was the last of their santos.  Paul thinks it was made around 1850’s by a local villager.  The hair appears to be real hair.  The form is carved from wood, while the gown under the purple is made of gesso.  The first cloth was beige, made by a local woman.  It was later replaced with the purple cloth.  The original cross was smaller and more rough cut.  Paul said that years before a man had come to the church in Chamberino with some newer pieces saying that the priest had insisted that they exchange the old ones for new ones.  This was not true.  The statue of Jesús Nazareno survived because it was under the altar and only used during Lent. . 


The painting on canvas of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the curve of the Chapel is from the 1700’s, and was donated to the Retreat Center in 1976 by J. Paul Taylor.

The bulto, painted statue, of OLG was carved in Chimayó in 1988 by Marcos A. Oviedo, and painted by Patricia T. de Oviedo.  This piece was donated to HCRC through the connection with Phil Ley OFM Conv. 

The origin of the statue of St. Anthony is unclear, but Paul thinks it is from the late 1800’s.  A relic of St. Anthony is in the same niche.

There are relics of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Maximilian Kolbe in the gold reliquaries.

The next niche contains a statue of La Conquistadora by R. Kowalski, a copy of the oldest image of Mary in the Americas with a constant public devotion, from 1624.  The original is in the Santa Fe Cathedral and commemorates the reconquest of Sante Fe after the friars and Spanish colonists were driven out in 1680.  In 1539, almost 75 years before the landing of the Mayflower, Fray Marcos de Niza first saw New Mexico and reported on the rich possibilities to be found there. He proclaimed the whole area  the “New Kingdom of St. Francis,” which would later be New Mexico.

San José Patriaca y El Santo Niño is a bulto, painted statue also done by R. Kowalksi.

The flat image of St. Anthony in the corner is a retablo metalico, metal altarpiece from around the 1880’s.

The white statue of St. Anthony outside on the east side of the small conference room is made of carrara marble.  It was purchased by Gertrude Armijo Escarate to put in the old San José Cemetery in the Armijo plot.  She removed it and gave it to St. Genevieve Parish.  When the Church building was torn down in 1967, the statue was given to Holy Cross Retreat Center.   Gertrude came to see it and was pleased that it is in a place with Franciscans.


In the library on the mantel are two statues made in Guatemala.  One is of St. Francis of Assisi.  The second one is St. Pascual, a lay Franciscan brother who is the patron of kitchens.


On the wall to the left of the east door of the library is a retablo metálico, metal painting of Santo Niño de Atocha.  The tradition goes back to Spain, and spread through Latin America.  The image depicts the child Jesus as a boy pilgrim, with a staff and basket for bread for the poor.


On the wall to the left of the east door of the library is a retablo metálico, metal painting of Santo Niño de Atocha.  The tradition goes back to Spain, and spread through Latin America.  The image depicts the child Jesus as a boy pilgrim, with a staff and basket for bread for the poor.

Fr. Joshe Duplissey started the collection of crosses on the south wall of the atrium in about 1995.  The three big wooden crosses were first, made by Phil Shannon.  There are now about 115 crosses of all styles donated over the years to the Holy Cross Retreat Center. 

The Stations of the Cross around the walkway facing the atrium were done by Rosiemarie López Stucyk, commissioned by Joshe.


The two painted wooden benches were built and donated by Phil Shannon.

In the room next to the gift shop, the statue on the rock table with the red cardinal hat is of St. Bonaventure, an earlier Franciscan minister general and theologian.


Higher up on the wall is a painting of the Holy Family by Fr. Marcos Reyna, 1997.



There is a retablo metálico with a depiction of Nuestra Señora de Refugio. 



To the left is a bulto of St. Anthony with the child Jesus.  Note the blue habit, a distinction of the Franciscans who came to New Mexico from a group who chose the blue habit in honor of the Assumption. 




Farther left is another image of a saint with a bowl.  This could also be an image of St. Anthony giving bread to the poor. 



The two statues on top of the bookcase appear to be rather old, but are not identified.  They were donated by a man from  

Ruidoso.  It could be St. Joseph on the right.  One indicates that it was made in Mexico. 





In the original dining room, there are five paintings of the five missions in the area of San Antonio, Texas.  These were done by E. Schauder and donated by Elario Martinez in mid 90’s.





The chairs and dining room table were hand made in Japan from Kiaki wood, perhaps for the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia.  Frank Monaghan brought them to his new home here in Mesilla Park around 1913.  


Donations to support Holy Cross Retreat Center and Chapel Fund are most appreciated.  To contact us:

 600 Holy Cross Road, Mesilla Park, NM 88047    (575) 524-3688    web site: