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Thank you to David A. Fernández for his “The Blessing Way” column about the burning of the old Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. I have been told many versions of how things went down that day – and many of them have been patently incorrect. I am glad to read a telling of the story that brings the event to vivid detail.
More than just a church went up in smoke on that day. Thank you for helping us to remember.
COLUMN / Suddenly everybody in the Taos area - my then-13-year-old self included - took note of immense clouds of black smoke rising and filling the sky, coming from the Taos Plaza area, from the church. Everybody in the town ran to combat the fierce flames, and to try to save and salvage what they could from inside.
Pastor John Privitt of the Calvary Taos church was diagnosed with COVID-19 in mid-October. So was his wife Stephanie Privitt. The church quickly shut down services on Oct. 18. “We suspended services for 29 days,” according to the church website.
Their positive tests for the novel coronavirus came toward the beginning of a surge in cases in Taos County – most of them occurring in residents of Taos, the Ranchos de Taos area and El Prado, according to data from the New Mexico Department of Health and Holy Cross Medical Center.
The year 2020 has unquestionably brought community to the forefront with its extraordinary challenges and tests of faith and good citizenship. In such trying times there are many who rise to the top, like cream, and enrich the lives of those around them.
Healthy children are the result of healthy families and communities.
“The resilience and strength of Taos is familia,” Taos pediatrician Sylvia Villarreal, MD, said. “People know they are all family here and that respect for families is the bottom line for individual and community health – Taos family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.”