The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

12 July 2013

Garments of Faith & Founding of "Modern" Socorro - August 9, 2013

              Lecture: Garments of Faith & Founding of “Modern” Socorro

Nadine Ulibarri-Keller and Robert J.C. Baca

The wardrobe for the old San Lorenzo statue in the Polvadera church, which has been amassed for over a century, will be discussed and displayed in an upcoming program sponsored by San Miguel Mission.  Generations of believers have been making pilgrimages to this small church in tribute to El Santo.  With the birth of a new child, the return of a loved one from war or in supplication for strength and blessings during hardship or illness, the faithful have looked to San Lorenzo in thanksgiving.  Their gratitude has been made manifest through these garments and other tokens of love left at the church.  During Holy Week, the San Lorenzo church is a popular destination of many who walk from miles around.

Nadine Ulibarri-Keller, a mayordomo at the Polvadera church and who has lived in the village since childhood, will share stories and her experiences in caring for this much loved statue and its accumulated wardrobe.

 San Lorenzo is believed to have been born in Spain, at Osca, a town in Aragon near the foot of the Pyrenees. He was one of seven deacons of the Church of ancient Rome serving under Sixtus II.  He became a martyr in 258 AD during the persecution of Valerian where he was condemned to a slow, cruel death tied on top of an iron grill over a slow fire that roasted his flesh little by little.  His feast day is celebrated August 10.

A presentation by Robert J.C. Baca, President of the New Mexico Genealogical Society and a native son of Socorro will follow Nadine.  Baca has been researching Socorro genealogy and history over many years.  Although Socorro has a rich history which goes back to the Piro Indian inhabitants of this area and to the Spanish beginning with the 1598 settlers lead by Juan de Onate, modern day Socorro began in 1815 when 70 families from Belen and other areas of New Mexico re-established the community.  With a re-discovered 1818 list of 66 Socorro residents who contributed to a military campaign and other research, Baca re-imagines the Socorro of two centuries ago when Spanish pioneers began their lives anew in this little community.

San Lorenzo was first mentioned in church records in 1835.  A license was granted by the bishop of Durango, Mexico for a chapel at Polvadera August 2, 1847.  The land on which this chapel was built was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Luciano Luna.  The church bell, that is housed in its own structure left of the main entrance, is said to be the original bell of the San Acacio Church.
If you go

What:  Lecture: Garments of Faith & Founding of “Modern” Socorro

When:  6:30 p.m. Friday, August 9, 2013

Where:  San Lorenzo Mission, Polvadera, NM (Exit 156 I-25, right to NM-408, first left to Frontage Road, north to Polvadera)

 How Much:  $20/person. Tickets available at San Miguel Church Office or Gift Shop.                              

                     For more information  call 575-835-2891.



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