Sunday, August 18, 2013


A Virgin of Guadalupe window sticker next door to the
historic Holy Family Catholic Church in Fort Collins, Colorado

Laurie Beth Zuckerman had often wondered what she might find in Fort Collins' two landmark Catholic churches. Assuming they could be nothing like the colonial churches she likes to photograph in Latin America, these two turn-of-the-century churches actually hold some surprising riches. 

Today I am sharing scenes from the Saint Joseph Catholic Church, constructed in 1900 from sandstone blocks quarried in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. I entered the church on a day when not a soul was in the main chapel or praying at the altar. I photographed it all, but prefer the simplicity of this side prayer chapel to the more modern main altar. I was impressed by the 19 gothic stain-glassed windows throughout the vaulted church, depicting the Divine Mysteries.

Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Fort Collins was constructed in 1900

19 gothic stained-glass windows are the most distinctive aspect 
of the interior of the historic Saint Joseph Catholic Church

Saint Joseph Catholic Church lovely side chapel

Virgin Mary plaster statue in the Saint Joseph Catholic Church chapel

A plaster statue of Saint Joseph and baby Jesus in the chapel

I have posted these sightings of Mary in conjunction with Rebecca Brooks' Mornings with Mary. Please click on this link to view all of the wonderful words and photos at Rebecca's site.

Learn more about Rebecca's Loving Lupita journey to San Miguel de Allende. I will be joining Rebecca and teaching a Memory Nicho Altar workshop during her December 10-19 tour of this historic colonial region of Mexico. Come away with us!

Monday, August 12, 2013


The Holy Family concrete statue
Juan Diego concrete statue holding the cloak of the Virgin of Guadalupe

Closeup of the handpainted Virgin of Guadalupe

Back side of the Juan Diego concrete statue

The Holy Family Church with nicho containing statue of the Holy Family

The concrete statue of the Holy Family stands at the left of the church.

This week I discovered two sweet concrete statues outside The Holy Family Catholic Church of Fort Collins, Colorado. One is the Holy Family, Mary, Joseph, and the boy Jesus. The other is the infamous Juan Diego, holding his cloak with the miraculous image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Sadly, the statue of the Guadalupe is now missing from the landscape, and the fountain was not running. (See the photo below from the church website for reference.)  I planned to photograph inside the church, but it was locked. I will have to visit one morning after Mass, and ask what happened to the Guadalupe.

Photo of The Holy Family Catholic Church

Built in 1924, this historic Old Town church began serving Spanish-speaking Catholic sugarbeet workers at the Great Western Sugar plant. Their community, known as "Alta Vista" and "Spanish Colony," was founded in 1927. There is now the Museo de las Trés Colonias, dedicated to the history of these Hispanic communities. I will make a foray there the next time it is open. Fort Collins History Connection

Forgotten Fort Collins's website tells the story of Lee Martinez who helped build the church. His family came from Southern Colorado's Huerfano County in 1906. I am enjoying reading about his prominent role in the early days of Fort Collins history.

So...much more photography to come in my exploration of the Spanish-Catholic influences on this frontier town of Fort Collins.

Please stop by and visit Rebecca Brooks' Mornings with Mary, as I have linked my post to her sharing.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


A cemetery Guadalupe in Oaxaca's San Miguel Panteon

Laurie Beth Zuckerman invites you to accompany artist and host, Rebecca Brooks to a world of colorful altars and cemetery nichos in the land of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This adventure to Colonial Mexico is scheduled for December 10-19, 2013. Rebecca has invited me to teach a two-day Memory Nicho Workshop, an option for all who join Rebecca's Loving Lupita folk art tour, highlighting this ancient December 12 festival of La Virgen de Guadalupe.

By sharing my photos of altars dedicated to La Virgen de Guadalupe, the archetypal saint of Mexico, I hope to inspire you to join Rebecca, and myself on this unique adventure.

PLEASE visit Rebecca Brooks blog for Sunday's "Postcards from Paradise"for a taste of what she imagines for her December tour of San Miguel de Allende.

La Virgen of Guadalupe prays in a nicho shrine in
La Luz Panteon, San Miguel de Allende

A special altar to La Virgen de Guadalupe stands
at the entrance to the El Panteon municipal cemetery in Oaxaca,
decorated for the Guadalupe festival

This Guadalupe altar in the Templo San Felipé Neri,
in old Oaxaca city, is simply dressed for her season

Monday, August 5, 2013


The Virgin of Guadalupe, Sanctuario de Chimayo, New Mexico

The Virgin of Guadalupe, Sanctuario de Chimayo side chapel, New Mexico

Stained Glass window in El Sanctuario de Guadalupe Church, Santa Fe, New Mexico

El Sanctuario de Guadalupe Church, Santa Fe, New Mexico

This morning I am linking up with Rebecca Brooks' Mornings with Mary at her recuerda mi corazon website. I am sharing images of several Virgen de Guadalupe images that I photographed at two of the most popular shrines in Northern New Mexico. The first is El Sanctuario de Chimayo, built in 1813, and located north of Santa Fe along the High Road to Taos. The second site is El Sanctuario de Guadalupe Church, built in 1781, and located in the historic Guadalupe district of Santa Fe.

If Our Lady of Guadalupe is your passion, you may consider traveling to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with Rebecca, and me, on her Loving Lupita journey, December 10-19, 2013.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

La Virgen de Guadalupe altar,
photo taken in San Miguel de Allende by Rebecca Brooks.

Celebrate the December 12, 1531, miracle of La Virgen de Guadalupe in historic San Miguel de Allende this December 10-19, 2013.  Discover what Our Lady of Guadalupe, the most beloved symbol of Mexico, represents for your personal life, with artist host, Rebecca Brooks on her LOVING LUPITA magical tour of Guadalupe festivals, Christmas posadas, processions, folk artisans, and colonial churches.

Laurie Beth Zuckerman will lead an optional two-day Memory Nicho workshop that will enhance your exploration of La Lupita, and dovetail perfectly with Rebecca's exciting excursions.

Laurie will guide you in creating a wooden shadowbox shrine (in Spanish: nicho) to contain all the symbols that have touched your soul in Mexico, and express your adoration of La Lupita. As the focal figure of your nicho, you will make a reverse-glass painting of the Guadalupe, employing the Medieval style used for painting sacred icons. Laurie will provide all the templates you will need to create your version of a traditional or contemporary image of La Lupita.

Inspired by Laurie's traditional memory jug techniques in her popular MEMORY JUGS BOOK, you will embellish your wooden altar with found-object adornments scavenged in the marketplaces of San Miguel, and from your personal treasure trove at home. Using paints and gilding, the entire surface of your nicho will develop a richly-textured patina, to mimic the antique gilded altars we will visit in San Miguel's famed colonial churches.

Laurie Beth Zuckerman created this nicho shrine
in honor of her mother, using a vintage Mexican shadowbox.
Photo by Laurie Zuckerman

Vintage foil and reverse glass-painting of La Virgen de Guadalupe,
on display in a Oaxacan restaurant. Photo by Laurie Zuckerman

I found this vintage Mexican reverse glass and foil painting 
of the Guadalupe in an antique store in Colorado years ago.
Photo by Laurie Zuckerman 

AND, just to wet your appetite for all things Guadalupe and Mexican, here are just a few of Laurie's photos of the Guadalupe church festival altars in Oaxaca, Mexico.

La Virgen de Guadalupe altar festival under construction by two altaristas
at the Nuestra Señora de las Nieves church in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Photo by Laurie Zuckerman

La Virgen de Guadalupe altar at the Nuestra Señora de las Nieves
church in Oaxaca, Mexico. Photo by Laurie Zuckerman

La Virgen de Guadalupe altar festival in the Basilica church,
 Oaxaca, Mexico. Photo by Laurie Zuckerman

La Virgen de Guadalupe altar festival in Teotitlan del Valle church,
Oaxaca, Mexico. Photo by Laurie Zuckerman

For much more information about this tour and to secure reservations, please contact Rebecca Brooks at her website: or email her at:

For more information about this workshop, please comment on this post or contact Laurie Beth Zuckerman at this site.

Read more about the history of Our Lady of Guadalupe.