SAGUACHE — The Association of St. Agnes Catholic Community recently announced that the re-opening of St. Agnes Catholic Church in Saguache will be on July 2.
“We were given the keys to the church just this week,” stated Toni Mondragon, association chairperson. “God is good. Our prayers have been answered. We will begin to have Mass again in Saguache.”
St. Agnes, 505 Gunnison Ave., Saguache, had to close its doors in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other situations.
In late 2020, after the announcement was made of the closing of St. Agnes, a group of concerned parishioners got together to see if they could somehow keep the church open, Mondragon stated.
The group of six began to meet often to see what steps would be needed to reopen.
“We were so fortunate to have Maria Archuleta and the Archuleta Family Foundation guide us to the proper channels and help us understand the process needed to open and be part of the Diocese of Pueblo,” Mondragon stated.
What the association did not know was that to have the church open for the community and its parishioners, it would have to create a legal business with federal and state requirements met to the satisfaction of both, Mondragon stated.
“We could not even open a bank account without meeting all the needed paperwork,” she stated. “We had to deal with a tiny piece of property the Parish Hall slightly sits on.”
These issues took some time to resolve.
“Of course, we must meet all the requirements of the Roman Catholic Church and the Diocese of Pueblo,” Mondragon stated. “We are continuing our Liturgical work with the guidance of the Diocese, Deacon Jerry LaBlanc, and with our priest, Father Eric Haarer."
St. Agnes has served the people of Saguache for over 125 years.
“It has been ingrained in the hearts of our Catholic community and the surrounding communities and has been a great loss since its closing,” Mondragon stated.
Many families of the Catholic faith lost loved ones during the pandemic, and some of these families helped build the "new" church in the late-40s.
“Our tradition of ringing the church bells and having Mass was such a loss to all of us,” Mondragon stated. “We are happy to announce we will now be able to continue these traditions.”
Mass will be celebrated in Saguache beginning with the first ringing of the bells at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 2, to honor “the loved ones who passed during our closure.”
Mass will be at 4 p.m. on July 2, followed by a rededication ceremony.
“St. Agnes Catholic Church invites you to celebrate with us,” Mondragon stated. “We thank our community for your kindness and generosity.”