Le daremos gracias a nuestro Tatita Dios, Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, La Virgin Sagrada Maria de la Luz y al Glorioso y Milagroso San Antonio de Padua.

In this year of Our Lord 2015, June 13 the people of Cordova for the first time in many years had a great celebration to honor our patron saint, San Antonio. We started our day of prayer with the most Holy Rosary, prayed by Los Hermanos de la Fraterindad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (La Morada de Cordova). To start the day hearing the oracions passed down by our antepasados is always a blessing in it self. The spirit of hermanos from long ago accompany us as we offer our prayers. They join us in our devotion to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I felt the antepasados next us as we prayed. I knew that we had honored their memory and brought back the devotions they left us, the devotions they so humbly prayed and taught us.

As is tradition in Cordova, we celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Fr. Julio Gonzales presided over the Mass. He offered words of inspiration. Telling us to keep in mind that San Antonio is the patron saint of lost things. Lost keys are some of the things we ask Antonio to help us find, but we must look to the Saint to much more then just our keys. To ask Antonio to help us find our faith. To look for the faith that has been given to us by out Lord Jesus Christ. The spirit of the great saint was around us. The church was full of people coming to honor their loved ones whom have made the journey to the other side. They came to honor the faith of their abuelos y abuelas. The church that has been the center piece of our community for 183 years.

Father Julio, at the end of Mass blessed our new Clavario. Hermano Jerry Pete Sandoval made a new cross for the court yard of our Iglesia. It was made of ceder from a tree at our Morada. to have a tree from our Morada. We now have our two holy places connected by the tree of the cross. The cross, the place where our Lord gave his life for us.

St. Anthony tells of the cross, `No man can better understand his own worth, than in the mirror of the Cross, which shows you how you should bring low your pride, mortify your unruly flesh, pray to the Father for those who persecute you, and commend your spirit into his hands.` (Sermon: The Finding of The Holy Cross)

What a beautiful day to bless our new calvario. What a beautiful quote by our beloved Patron Saint. The humility of our antepasados is always present in our iglesita.

June 13, 2015 will be remember as the day that the antepasados from El Huachin were honored on the Feast of St. Anthony. As our indigenous brothers and sisters from Kahpoo Owingeh and Ohkay Owingeh offered pray dance ceremonies, we in Cordova also offered prayers in the form of Danza Azteca. Los Concheros de La Mesa de Nuestra Senora de La Luz graced our Iglesia with the smell of copal and the beat of the drum. The spirit of our Indigenous antepasados was honored.. For the first time, in probably 375 years the beat of the drum was heard in Cordova. The Spirit of our antepasados was awakened. They blessed us with rain. As we offered the ceremonial prayers in the Danza tradition it called to the people of Cordova. The drum beat opened the hearts of many.

The mayordomos for 2014/15 were Mr. and Mrs. Jerry and Nancy Sandoval, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Denise Martinez and Debra Sandoval and son, Angelo Sandoval. It was great honor to be in the company of great community members and members of our faith community as well. We planned and had a great celebration. It was truly a humbling experience to be able to plan such a prayer filled day, a day in which the community came together in our traditional ways and also adding a new component to our prayers, which was La Danza Azteca.

St. Anthony blessed us with great blessings, blessings of community, of rain and of new found ways of prayer. Our antepasados, Hermanos, community members and indiginous were all honored in one great and peaceful day of prayer.

I end this entry with words of inspiration by our Beloved St. Anthony, `The Life of the body is the soul; the life of the soul is God.` `Charity is the soul of faith; it gives life; without love, faith dies.`

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This is our old Calvario. It got smaller and small as the years have passed.

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Here is our new Calvario. Made from a ceder tree that grew at our Morada.

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Here is a replica of our beautiful church as it was originally built in 1832. Made my Her. Jerry P. Sandoval and his grandson Jesse Melendez.

Que la paz de Nuestro Padre Jesus y La Virgen Maria este con todo usteds. The Mayordomos de la Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua en Cordova, Nuevo Mexico invites you to join them and the community of Cordova to join us in celebrating the feast of San Antonio de Padua. San Antonio de Padua is the patron Saint of our beloved community. This year’s feast will be the 183rd birthday of our Iglesia.

The feast of San Antonio is on June 13th. There will be a Mass of celebration at 12 noon. The day will began with the Most Holy Rosary at 1030 am at the church. The rosary will be lead by the Fraternidad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesus de Nazareno, la Moraga de Cordova. Fr. Julio Gonzales will be offering the Sacrifice of the Mass. La Danza Azteca Chichimeca, Mesa de Nuestra Sedona de la Luz will be offering prayer through the Danza ceremony.

There will be a meal after all the ceremonies are completed.

To all, please bring any religious article of San Antonio to be blessed during the Mass.

My the blessings of God, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you all.

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Angelo J. Sandoval
©12-13-2014

I shed a few tears last night
as the choir and congregation began
to sing the song of your apparitions
I shed tears of sad
tears of happiness and joy.

Those tears of sadness were for your
Devote son, who has left this earthly
place, who no longer graces our day
with the song of your apparition
Tears of sadness because we no longer
get to share funny and serious moments
with your devoted son.

I shed tears of happiness because
You have given me a sign of peace
the song of your apparitions
bring solace to my heart
brings a message of hope
that your devoted son is now with you
With you in his eternal morada
In graces of your Son, his friend, Jesus.

I shed tears of joy
because I knew in that moment
of song and praise to you, Madrecita
your devoted son was at my side
singing with choir and congregation
your apparitions.
I felt the joy of his
presence next to my family and me.
The joy that over came my heart as
your song was being song with
faith and devotion
every note
every word
Came from the heart of all your faithful
Your devoted son came to praise you
he sat with me and we praised you,
You, a loving mother of our spiritual being
You a loving mother who has never
abandoned us, especially in our
time of need.

My tears were many
and my heart is now at peace.

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Angelo J. Sandoval
©12-13-2014

En busca de la Santa Misa
dedicada a La Virgen Morena
Anduve por tierra sagrada
tierra Chimayosa
bendita y saludable
El Nichito de la Guadalupana
me puse a ver,
mi corazon se lleno de alegria
cuando a mi Virgencita llege de ver
Ayi en su nichito
mirando a sus fieles llegar
a tierra sagrada.
Tierra que cura con el poder de Dios.
Mi Virgen Santa
a su rinconcito regreso.

El humilde San Juan Diegito
con su Madre se reunió
Ojos fijos con los de su Virgencita
El Milagro del Tepeyac
Llego a la tierra sagrada del
Santuario de Chimayo
Viendo a mi Virgencita en su
nichito mi corazon se lleno de
jubilo y alegria
Virgen Santa Maria Guadalupana
a tu nichito has regresado.

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The information below was taken from the flier.
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This play is based on a play by Linda Pedro and Jose Griego, PhD titled “The Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe”

Cast:
Nuestra Señor de Guadalupe–Anna Raquel Plaza
Doña Lupita/Universal Mother–Guadalupe Aranda
Juan Diego/Cuatitlatoatzin–JoseLuis Ortiz
Cuautemoc/El Arzobispo–Matthew Encinias
La Diosa Tonantzin–Shaun Fisher
El Angel–Beatriz Vigil
Tio Bernardino/El Familiar–Pedro Herrera
Rosa–Mary Ellen Gomez
La Muerte–Samati Rodriguez
La Llorona–Matilda Fernandez
El Diablo–Sam Leyba
The Children–Ryan Campos
Mandy Romero
Monet Lau’Fisher
Sequayiah Fisher

Crew:
Tech Crew/Sound–Monica Watson
Tech Crew/Light–Shaun Fisher
Special Thanks to Maria Martinez and El Museo Cultural

Angelo J. Sandoval
©11.30.14

Humility has come my way,
as mother and son cleaned
away dust and cobwebs,
swept and mopped ancient floors
I am reminded of ancient
traditions, passed down through generations
of grandparents and parents to children
I stand on sacred ground where my
baptism and First Communion
took place, the same sacred space
where my antepasados shared those
sacred sacraments.
Sacred space where Penitentes
have graced the community with
ancient prayers and sacrifices.

I am humbled to be Mayordome
of sacred space,
entrusted to care for the house
of God.
Entrusted with the memory of
antepasados
and blessed by ancianos to maintain
traditions and customs
of nearly 200 years in our beloved,
San Antonio de Padua del Pueblo Quemado.

I’m have been blessed by the
spirit of my antepasados
as the years go by
their memories will live
my daughters will so be
keeps of sacred space and traditions,
as the torch was given to me,
I to will pass it to my children
and some day to my grandchildren.
On this day three generations
shared a gift given to us by our ancestors.

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Escritores is a community writing group started by Chimayo Poet, David Martinez. The writing groups meets twice a month at the Northern New Mexico Collage library. For the second October gathering, El Razafotografista was the facilitator of the writing group. Three images were used as prompts for poems. Those images and poems are being shared here.

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El Esqueleto Borracho
© 10-23-14, Angelo J. Sandoval

In the dark shadow
of the bar’s rincon
sat a figure slumped on his chair
the flash of the stage light
hit his face
rancheras and cumbias giving
bailadores rhythm to dance too.

The ghostly figure’s dark eyes
sparkle with the turn of the disco ball
head tilted to the left, slumped on his shoulder.

Just before sun down
he made his way to Vic’s Bar
casting his ghostly shadow on
bar patrons as he made his
way to his favorite corner.
He waves down the mesero to the
darkness of his misery, the corner.

Face hiding in the shadows,
he speaks in a low tone
with a rustic voice,
“Same una botella de tequila.”

Triste corridors make there way
to his ears,
the tears run down from his eyes
as the musica plays.

Memories of lost lovers
and war torn memories
fill his soul,
the tequila feels his sorrows

the disco ball shines light
into his dark eyes
sadness fills his heart
as tequila fills his panzita.

Sitting in the corner,
the clock Strick’s one o’clock
the musica died out
empty bottle of tequila,
the man stumbles out into
the full moon
light shines through his rib cage
the sorrow of the dead man
feels the night sky.

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La Esqueletafotografista
© 10-23-14, Angelo J. Sandoval

She came from the land of immortality
as soul from ancient times
units with modern technology

Kneeling behind her camera
La Esqueleta looks dead ahead
spooked by the wonder of the day
she recognizes flower designs
and colorful patterns
the paleness of white brought to
life by the brightness of colors.

The figure is unknown to her
never seen in the land of the immortals
her camera, to heavy to hold up
her arms frozen to the unknown figure.

She is unable to capture the moment
the figures are not real to hug yet
they approached her in song and dance,
in collaboration………… She asks, “quien son”?

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Please feel free to use these images to create your own poems. If you would like for your poem to be added to this post please email poems/prose/short stories (under 350 words) here. for review and consideration. Authors retain all rights to their work. Photographs are copyrighted by El Razafotografista and Company de Esperanza Fotography. May use with written consent.

©Angelo J. Sandoval
   9.14.2014

Part I

Nestled in a reconcito,
I have seen you in the corner
of my eye as I have
driven by your
humble exterior.

I didn’t pay much attention
to your presence,
but the few times I did catch
a glimpse of you,
I wondered if you were
offering sacred prayer space,
yet didn’t bother to find out.

I heard from news sources
you had been violated.
Your sacred space,
treated with disrespect.
Your heart was taken from you.
Ancient relics that carried
prayers of antepasados
stolen from the sacredness

©9.14.2014

Part II

My heart broke into pieces
as I read the news of your torment
You, the heart of a community
the refuge of the lonely
Violated by one of your
sons or
daughters

The heart that is You,
was taken,
taken to unknown places
Lost to the cycle of addiction
that plagues your community
The same community that cares
for you,
that made every effort to protect you.

My heart is broken.
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Angelo J. Sandoval
©8.30.14

The search for indeginous
identity roots
My journey has been
full of adventure.
I search the spiritual
en mi querido Norté.

I traveled to Alcatraz Island,
celebrating sunrise ceremonies
antepasados making there
presence known
as Father Sun breaks over the horizon,
Grandmother Moon slowly begins
her decent in to the ocean’s horizon.

The beauty of the Morning Star
Came to bless us with love prayer
trails to the ancestors in the other world.

I search for a story which has been
lost to the winds of time.
names of sacred spaces unknown
Spanish corrupted names
leave my mind wondering
wondering where
where did they go?
Why did they go?
No answers.

Adventure seeks me out
Visiting ancient ruins
of a forgotten city.

Lost to the winds of time
reasons why,
why an ancient city was left behind.
I found peace at the ruins site.

For once the unknown
became, ok.
I came to a place labelled, ruins.

Narrated videos of dependents
of ancient people remind us,
These spaces are not ruins,
they are home to ancestor spirits.

I enter sacred space, the Great Kiva.
The energy of ancient peoples are
ever present,
I make two visits in to this sacred space.
I close my eyes and daydream of lost
Alto Huachín Kiva,
lost sacred space
lost stories of creation, love, family, and the beyond.

One more piece of the puzzle found,
yet it doesn’t find its fitted place in my
people’s lost history.

Sacred space, the Great Kiva
your gift of sacred space will
live in my heart till the end of my days.
Entering your sacred space without
the need of a card to prove my lost
indigenous identity,
Your sacred space gave healing
to a lost soul.

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The photo were taken at Aztec Ruins National Park in Aztec, New Mexico.

©Angelo J. Sandoval
9.3.2014

I look toward the New Mexico sky,
the heavens above
sun sets approach the day
evening sets in,
the clouds, fire red
turning bright orange as the sun sets.

The clouds, silent
as the day passes
the clouds witness the
beauty that is New Mexico
and the ugliness, just the same

These silent clouds hold in them
the secrets of negativity,
the load voices of a people from an Enchanted Land.

These silent clouds
burn with the Sun’s rays
as Father Sun
makes his way behind the
Jemez Mountains.

These silent clouds
keep secrets hidden
in their soft fluffy woolly body
the secrets of enchanted dreams
and repulsive nightmares

These silent clouds
protect word of
prayers uttered by
enchanted hearts and souls
the clouds silence has
no room for judgment
only a healing presence.

The glow of fire sun as it sets
The clouds take your words with them
as they fade in the night sky

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