New Mexico's

"Home on the Range"

 

Iglesia de la Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

In 1900, Mass was offered for the first time in the new church built at Bueyeros and dedicated to the Sacred Heart. This was the Parish Church until 1932 when the parish headquarters were transferred to Mosquero. It is a beautiful church, built of stone, and artistically painted above the altar. It is also endowed with fine statues. Unfortunately the roof proved to be too heavy for the walls and much reinforcing had to be done later to keep the structure intact. Under the leadership of mayordomos and with the cooperation of the people, the church was repainted recently. Considering the height of the ceiling and the immense roof, this was indeed a difficult and tedious undertaking. At present, there are few families living in and around Bueyeros, but with the expansion of the dry ice industry, there is every possibility that the town will grow again and the church filled to capacity as in former years.

Until the year 1894, all of Northeastern New Mexico was part of the Parish of St. Joseph at Springer, NM. In that year, Archbishop Chapelle, accompanied by Rev. G.H. Haelterman, visited the principal settlements in Union County, Folsom, Clayton, Bueyeros, and Gallegos to Administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. Impressed by the great number of people in this territory, the Archbishop decided that a new parish should be established, appointed Father Haelterman pastor of Union County, and entrusted him with the task of forming the new parish. Father Haelterman then started a Baptismal Register for the new parish, prefaced it with a two page entry written in Spanish signed by Archbishop Chapelle.

 

The following is a translation of Father Haelterman's entry in the Baptismal register of 1894:

The Very Reverend Archbishop, considering the increase of the population in Union county, and the great desire of the people, expressed at various times, determined to form a new parish consisting of Union County, the parish seat of which is to be located about 5 or 6 miles south of Bueyeros near the house of Don Nestor Baca, and the Rev. Father G.H. Haelterman has be appointed to establish the parish and to be its pastor.

The Archbishop, accompanied by Father Haelterman, arrived at Folsom on the morning of August 11, 1984 and after Mass, the Sacrament of Confirmation was administered to 64 persons. The chapel, situated 6 miles from the railroad station, is very small and was built in the property of Don Romualdo Martinez, who promised the Archbishop to have the chapel and sufficient ground deeded to the Diocese. Nevertheless the Archbishop thinks that a church should be built in Folsom itself where there are said to be English-speaking and Spanish-speaking Catholics.

On the 12th day of August, the Archbishop said Mass in a public hall in Clayton and confirmed 55 persons. There is not a single chapel in Clayton and the Catholic population is quite small. The pastor will be required to take all necessary steps to construct a chapel in a suitable place.

On the 13th, the town of Tramperos was visited and 159 were confirmed. The chapel there is the personal property of Don Luis Garcia and since the gentleman insists to have the right to bury it in the members of his family, this place cannot be used for public worship although the pastor is authorized to bless it and to have Mass in it on rare occasions when it is for the good of the people.

On the 14th, Confirmation was administered to 150 persons in the chapel of Bueyeros. No doubt it was not felt necessary because the Parish church is to be built in the vicinity.

On the 15th, Confirmation was administered to 171 persons at Rincon Colorado (Gallegos). The church is large, well kept and in care of the family of Don Francisco Gallegos.

On the 16th, Confirmation was given to 84 persons at Genova. The church there is small but adequate, considering the population of the place.

The population of the Parish consists almost without exception of ranchers and their employees. The people are widely scattered, but since almost all of them have means of transportation, they can easily attend church services in the various places where there are churches. They seem to be intelligent people and animated with a fine spirit. The Archbishop is sure that they will help the pastor in the organization of this important parish. It is the wish of the Archbishop, which is in conformity with the laws of the church and the Diocese, that the pastor have complete authority in the construction of the churches, the pastor's residence, in collecting funds, selecting the building sites, and making the building plans, naturally always under the direction of the Archbishop.

The pastor will have to keep in mind a petition made to the Archbishop by some of the leading people of Rincon Colorado for the erection of a school taught by Brothers or Sisters. In the petition, the feasibility of the project was demonstrated to the Archbishop.