Sunday Road Trip Part 1: Holy Angels in Angel Fire
Pictured here: Holy Angels Catholic Mission in Angel Fire, New Mexico. That snow-capped peak in the near distance behind the church is Wheeler Peak, our highest peak in the state (13,159′).
The Village of Angel Fire resides at 8,406 feet above sea level. That’s important to note because although it sits on the Moreno Valley floor, it is actually higher than the Town of Taos (6,982′).
U.S. Highway 64 over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is a beautiful and potentially treacherous drive. The road through Taos Canyon is narrow and its curves are sharp and unforgiving. Woe unto the driver who is not paying attention or choosing to driving really fast.
I woke up this morning and decided to take the gorgeous morning drive over the mountain to the other side in Angel Fire. I knew of the Holy Angels Catholic Mission but had never attended Mass there. I was in for a real treat.
At 8 a.m. Mass, the Gospel reading was John 21:1-19. That’s the story of Jesus showing up at the seashore. John calls it the Sea of Tiberias but I know it as Galilee.
These Bible stories are like family members to me. I don’t know them outside of me on the surface level through reading and hearing. I know them inside of me through feeling, believing and most importantly, loving.
I was too dense to predict which song would be our worship so I was absolutely thrilled when it was my favorite, “Lord, When You Came to the Seashore (Pescador de Hombres).” What makes it my favorite? I guess first, it’s because it has a variation of my last name in the title. And that reminds me of Jesus’s first apostolic teaching to Peter (and thus, to me to do service): “Fish for men and women.”
Also, it is the simple lyric (echoing the Gospel) that touches my heart: “Only asking that I might follow.”
Some notes about the church: It was built in 2014 which makes it pretty new by most Catholic Church standards – certainly in this region with a lot of old churches.
Instead of traditional stained glasses behind the altar, the windows are about ten feet high, giving a perfect view of Wheeler Peak in the near distance. The church architecture and décor is contemporary alpine style with exposed, trussed beams. Raise the roof!