Santa Fe, Holy Thursday, April 13
Holy Week: Two Versions on Holy Thursday in El Norte
Spring is breaking out all over El Norte. The snow pack runoff may not last beyond June, but the acequias are running now and the rivers are flowing nicely. Good time for fishing.
Speaking of fishing, this is a time of the year people remember Jesus' words, "follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Here are two contemporary versions of actions by citizens of El Norte, in response to this call.
1. Old Tech NM Version: The annual pilgrimage is underway, as some faithful Catholics participate in the trek that will culminate tomorrow in Chimayo. The Catholic Church purchased the Santuario in Chimayo in 1992, from a family that had built it in to honor Nuestra Señora de Atocha, in veneration of Nuestra Señora's son, a child said to have given bread to starving prisoners taken by Moorish conquerors in Atocha, a small village in Central Spain, during the 13th century. There is also a Mexican follow-up version of the story, dating back to the mid-1500s in Zacatecas, for a miracle in Plateros, a mining village where an explosion had trapped minors and a child is said to have appeared to give them water and lead them to safety. The New Mexico version, dating to the 19th century, has it that Severino Martinez, seriously ill, promised to build a chapel in honor of Our Lady, should he be cured. The chapel became the destination of pilgrims soon after it was built. Today, pilgrims anoint themselves with dirt from the chapel, often expressing a prayer for relief from illness.
Nuestra Señora de Atocha is venerated by Catholic pilgrims and prisoners, and miners throughout the Catholic world, hoping for relief, as well as for people hoping for help for hopeless situations. In New Mexico many survivors of the Bataan Death March attribute their survival to the intervention of La Señora de Atocha.
(2) NewTech Soda Pop NM Version: From the Santa Fe New Mexican today: An inter-faith group, on moral grounds, is backing mayor Javier Gonzales' proposal on the ballot for a two-cent tax per ounce for soda pop, to raise money to send hundreds of Santa Fe children to pre-school. Today Charlie Clements, a human rights activist, will speak at an inter-faith forum on behalf of the tax, which he believes is a moral issue. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican this morning Clements said, "moral issues are those actions or choices which have the potential to help or harm others or ourselves." The Rev. Talitha Arnold, senior minister at United Church of Santa Fe, wrote on behalf of the measure, "It is both just and right to do what is needed to insure that all children have a chance to reach their God-given potential from the very beginning. Supporting pre-K for all is one way to do that." Opposing the measure is a political action committee, Better Way for Santa Fe & Pre-K. David Huynh, a spokesperson for this group said, "The choice is whether we need to hit residents and small business people hard with a massive tax or instead fund pre-K with a multimillion dollar surplus from revenues that these same people created by working hard."