Saturday, July 19, 2008

Arrival in New Mexico!

Update: 6:16 p.m.
It is unknown when the statue will come to Santa Fe. The latest is that it will arrive on Monday due to paperwork issues.

Update: 2:29 p.m.

The statue has been held up at the border for longer than expected. X-rays of the statue by border agents and paperwork issues have delayed its entry into the U.S. It is expected to arrive in El Paso at 3 p.m. From there it will drive straight to Santa Fe where it will arrive tonight.

The statue of Nuestra SeƱora de Guadalupe, bound for the Santuario in Santa Fe, will cross the border this morning and meet bus loads of church members at Queen of Heaven Church in Albuquerque at 3 p.m. The 12 foot-tall, 4,000 pound statue is currently delayed at la frontera and if all goes as planned will arrive in Albuquerque this afternoon.

This website will continue to be updated with new information and a video of the "Guadalupe Journey" should be posted here within the next week.

This was a historic trip. It was an eye opening cultural experienced that helped to bridge the culture of Old Mexico and the people of New Mexico. The pilgrims from New Mexico saw many familiar traditions celebrated in Mexico. The people of Mexico saw that people in the United States also have a strong devotion to La Virgen. There were many encounters that helped people learn that Mexicans and New Mexican are not so different after all. They were once the same people.

This was a project and a dream realized by the parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Santa Fe. This statue of La Virgen and the spiritual and physical journey were born of controversial use of one of the most revered and important images in Hispanic culture. But that is not why the faithful pursued this project. Their pursuit was one of dedication, faith and discovery. And they were hugely successful.

I want to thank the pilgrims from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Fe and the others that joined them for allowing me to document their journey. The group opened up and allowed this photojournalist to document some rather spiritual and emotional moments.

Thank you Father Tri for spearheading this. Thank you Monsignor Jerome for the history lessons. Thank you to the Deacons, bus drivers, statue transporters and tour guides.

And most importantly thank you for keeping Faith, Tradition, History and Culture alive in a world that seems to forget where it comes from.

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