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Just got back from my pilgrimage - dcmaccabees - 03-10-2015

I just returned to AZ from a pilgrimage to Chimayo, NM ( with my wife, mother, and kids.  We also attended Mass at the Basilica and visited the staircase at the Loretto Chapel (

A few observations:

The Santa Fe area is amazing.  Comparable weather to my area of Arizona, rich history, and great cuisine.  If someone asks you if you want your enchiladas "Christmas", DO IT.  The mixing of red and green chili is out of this world.

I was expecting something very different from Chimayo than what I saw.  Initially, it seemed to exceed what I was anticipating.: the entryway was covered with  milagros from other visitors, statues glorifying the conversion of the area, and the faith of the local indigenous population (including a fantastic Native American-inspired chapel).  Unfortunately, things quickly went downhill from there.

We attended Mass while we were there and I received perhaps the single most offensive "confession" experience of my life.  The priest ranted about how happy he was that the "Church was finally getting with the times", that "old fashioned" morals had no place in modern society, and that he expected everyone to receive the "communion meal" that Mass.  Communion at the Mass was handed out in baskets that were carried by lay persons down the aisle and the Blessed Sacrament was passed to each person in their seat.

We stayed only long enough after that to enter the small area at the rear of the chapel to receive a small amount of the Blessed Dirt that the shrine is famous for, then left.  I couldn't help but wonder how far this shrine had fallen.

The next day we visited the Loretto Chapel, famous for its spiral choir loft staircase.  Arriving there, we quickly discovered that the Chapel had been sold, not to the Diocese as you would expect, but to a secular group (after the Diocese refused to even make an offer) that "rents" it out for various functions.  The most horrible of these is to The "Church" of Antioch, an ultra-liberal group of "Catholics" whose literature stresses that they have "priests" of both genders and of all sexual orientations.  Thanks be to God, they haven't harmed the staircase, but the interior of the Chapel is stuffed with loud speakers.  There is also an opportunity to "take a picture in the confession box"....

Are these sites abnormal in the Diocese of Santa Fe or is the entire diocese this rotten?  I wasn't a huge fan of Bishop Olmsted here in the Diocese of Phoenix before, but now I'm thanking Our Lord from the depths of my soul that He has spared us from the blight I just witnessed...