San Juan Bautista Monument

Casa de Cura/Convento


In 1879, an adobe dwelling was built east of the San Juan Bautista church as a casa de cura (rectory) for Jesuit Priests of the Society of Jesus. Later, it served as a convento (convent) for the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross. The four-room residence originally housed the religious who ministered to Catholics living in the area and, in later years, it was the family home of a caretaker who maintained the church and 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 Sisters 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. 


As part of Father Joseph Vigil's encourgement to revitalize the San Juan Catholic Community's church property in La Garita, 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 said by Father Vigil followed by a procession to the Monument where he blessed and dedicated 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 church’s bell tower.


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Construction of the San Juan Bautista Monument


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