Visitation Church was expanded and renovated in 2004. The 2004 renovation of Visitation kept the original facade, arched walkways, parish office (former rectory) and rectory (former convent), while maintaining throughout the church the stucco walls and colorful painted ornamentation reminiscent of "Spanish colonial style." Designed to give the parish a sacred home that will last for generations, the renovated church seats 800. Here are some of the highlights of our beautiful church:
The tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel sits on a direct axis with the altar, connecting it to the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The tabernacle, where the Eucharist reserved for the sick and the dying, is housed in a reredos (screen) made of carved wood enhanced with gesso, polychrome and gold leaf. Solid oak monastic seating orients those praying to the reserved Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament.
The Rosary Chapel, located behind the predella wall, offers a quiet respite for prayer and reflection. Three paintings, companion pieces from the 18th century Peruvian School of Cuzco, grace the walls of this chapel. The three paintings depict The Annunciation and Joseph's Dream, the Betrothal of Joseph and Mary, and the Presentation in the Temple.
Used for daily Mass and other small liturgies, the St. Joseph Chapel, honoring the Sisters of St. Joseph who served the parish for generations, is the design and work of artist and santero, Ramon Jose Lopez. It is an expression of the architecture and craft of the mission churches in New Mexico. Walls of straw and color-integrated plaster and a ceiling made of hand carved beams (vegas) and brackets (corbels) create the structure of the room. Windows are made of selenite, a natural mineral. The altar scfreen, nearly 18 feet high, carries the images of Gabriel the Archangel, the Trinity, Michael the Archangel, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Phillipine Duchesne, Christ and the Psalmist David. Buffalo hides were used by the early missionaries to tell the stories of faith. Lopez painted the scene of the Pieta, the crucified Christ in his mother's arms, on the hide that hangs on the back wall of the chapel. He also painted the hide with Our Lady of Guadalupe that was added to the Chapel in 2010. The artist used natural pigment paint and pine wood for his work throughout the chapel, including all the sacred furnishings.
Content on this page will rotate periodically. Come back in a few months to learn more about other parts of our worship space.