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Centennial Ribbon Cutting

Celebrating 100 Years
1918-2018

Santa Ana Catholic Church

A Brief History

Deming, New Mexico - “Looking at our Past with Gratitude, Living our Present with Passion; and embracing our Future with Hope” has been the theme for the Santa Ana Catholic Church Centennial Celebration (1918 – 2018) The Centennial Celebration has been a collaboration with congregation, volunteers, sponsors and community organizations that have come together to make the Centennial a success.  The celebration has focused on history, faith, art and culture involving parishioners, the community and Southern New Mexico.

As part of the history in the community, we have the Santo Nino Chapel.  Santo Niño was a small adobe building, built in 1900 located north of the railroad tracks in Deming, New Mexico.  Bonifacio Gonzales owned the structure at that time.  Deming marked the junction of the Southern Pacific Railroad and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The first settlers on the Northside of the railroad were railroad workers.  The church served as the first Catholic Church in Deming. It was known to many at the time and was labeled on the old postcards as the “Mexican Church.”  The church was built by Father Morin and Mexican Catholics living in Deming. Fr. Augustin visited Deming once a month from the Silver City area. The Delgado Family wanted to build a chapel where services could be held for them and their neighbors.   The work was all done without skilled labor.

 Marcelino Delgado, born June 02, 1864 in Edosina, Jalisco, Mexico and his wife Delores Melendres, born March 17 at San Juan Pelallo, Chihuahua, Mexico came to Deming in 1890.  Marcelino Delgado and many more worked together making adobes and built the Little Catholic Church. They put a cross above the door which was later replaced with a bell. This bell was later given to Father Carnet for Saint Ann’s Church.  Marcelino and Anastacia had a daughter, Anastacia, born January 22, 1902 was baptized in the little church.  In June 21, 1915, Anastacia Delgado Married Gregorio Chavez in Deming and had 9 children. Gregorio made adobes to build homes. Working for Ed F. Moran who was a contractor, he helped build Saint Ann’s and Holy Family Catholic Church. Gregorio died February 09, 1963. According to Mother Vicentia of Notre Dame, when she visited Deming in March of 1939, Santo Niño was still in use and continued to serve the people of the neighborhood, even after Holy Family Catholic Church was built in 1905 and Santa Ana in 1918. During the forties, the little church fell into disuse and the adobes deteriorated.   

Santa Ana Catholic church, initiated in March of 1918, on the East side of Deming, when Father Carnet identified the need for a church for Spanish-speaking people and soldiers.  The new church would help relieve the overcrowding at Holy Family.  He later received, from the Knights of Columbus headquarters in New York, the sum of $3,000 to start a Clubhouse.  After receiving the donation, Father Carnet, went to El Paso to discuss the matter with Bishop Schuler.  The result of the interview was that Father Carnet would build a church at 400 S. Ruby Street for the Spanish-speaking people and soldiers. Most of the soldiers were born in New Mexico and stationed at Camp Cody.  A spacious, Spanish mission type Church was planned.  The church’s name, Santa Ana, reflected the language the people spoke.  The church dedication was postponed due to the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918.  The dedication took place on Thanksgiving Day, November 28th with a Pontifical High Mass celebrated by Rev. Anthony J. Schuler, Bishop of El Paso. The twin towers were constructed in the spring of 1924.  The upper portions, domes and the façade were completed in 1929.

In May of 1978, Bishop Patricio Flores, granted permission to Pastor Fr. Jose Maria Hermoso, to expand Santa Ana Church.  It was during the 1960’s or early 70’s that the Santo Nino structure was rebuilt at a nearby site on the corner of 4th St. and N. Pearl.  Meanwhile Santa Ana was remodeled in 1979, Santo Niño Church was used for religious services.  Santa Ana embraced the Santo Niño community and today this building is owned and used by Luna County.

A Dream came true when the church paid off their Parish Center adjacent to the church, on February 10, 2017. Fr. Richard Catanach, Fr. Enrique Lopez and Pastor Fr. Manuel Ibarra, celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass.  A dinner was held immediately following the Mass and a symbolic burning of the deed was completed.

As part of the Centennial Celebration, throughout the year, events were held at the church including a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony that took place on June 15, 2018.  The community gathered and current pastor, Rev. Manuel F. Ibarra, emphasized the centennial theme “Looking at our Past with Gratitude, Living our Present with Passion and embracing our Future with Hope” expressed the life and history of Santa Ana Catholic Church.  On June 12, 2018, Most Rev. Oscar Cantu, Bishop of Las Cruces, took the opportunity to invoke the Father of mercies to pour forth abundant graces for conversion and healing upon all the faithful and granted plenary indulgence between the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Feast of Our lady of Guadalupe in December12, 2018.

The History of Our Church