SAN JUAN BAUTISTA MONUMENT
Casa de Cura/Convento
In 1879, an adobe dwelling was built east of the San Juan Bautista church as a Rectory (Casa de Cura) for Jesuit Priests of the Society of Jesus. Later, it served as a Convent (Convento) for the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross. The four-room residence that originally served as a residence for the religious, who ministered to Catholics living in the area, later become a family home for a caretaker who maintained the church and the cemetery.
The last remaining wall of this dwelling has been preserved as the San Juan Bautista Monument and dedicated to the courageous Hispano people who settled in La Garita and to the priests and nuns that supported them in their Catholic faith. It is also dedicated to the Penitentes who helped keep the Catholic faith alive in the absence of priests during the early settlement.
Construction of the San Juan Bautista Monument begin in July 2009. The project continued throughout the remaining summer months into fall. In mid-November a special Mass was offered followed by a procession to the Monument where it was blessed and dedicated as the San Juan Bautista Monument as a gift to the San Juan Catholic Community and as a place of remembrance and contemplative prayer for all who visit.
The construction of the monument's walls that support the original adobe wall were constructed from approximately 1,500 adobes and dirt from the collapsed walls. The painting of the Baptism of Jesus by Saint John the Baptist is a "true buon fresco", created with a technique in which paint pigment is applied to wet plaster. The cross is constructed with the same 6-armed structure as the cross on the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church’s bell tower.