Built in 1863, our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Conejos is the oldest church in Colorado. It’s located by the historical railroad town of Antonito in southern Colorado.

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This an extremely beautiful church is certainly worth a visit if you’re roughly the southerly San louis Valley. The Mission hosts mass daily in Antonito in ~ 8 am, though you can attend a one-of-a-kind Sunday Mass in ~ the our Lady the Guadalupe Parish in Conejos weekly in ~ 11 am.


Tradition has actually it that when a group of Spaniards to be traveling throughout the mountain Luis Valley, among their mules refused to continue on the trip despite many attempts to obtain it moving. The group found a tiny statue of our Lady that Guadalupe in the mule’s pack and also were encouraged that the Blessed Virgin want a church built in she honor and specialized to ours Lady that Guadalupe.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. Photo: J. Stephen Conn

As shortly as they vowed to construct the church top top the specific same ar they stood, the mule no longer needed any type of persuasion to move and also began jogging together the other mules.

The Spaniards returned and erected a picket church committed to ours Lady of Guadalupe. Later it would be replaced by a larger and permanent church. The parish’s an initial pastor to be Father Montaño. The town of Conejos to be the particle of the Catholic Church in Colorado, with devout Catholics coming to the area ~ above horseback, extended wagon, in mule trains, and even ~ above foot.

They come under the management of José Maria Jaquez searching for a place to live and worship God peacefully. Our Lady that Guadalupe Parish detailed a security shadow for these world to live, settle and also grow in the valley. The church was damaged by a fire believed to be began by an electric short circuit ~ above Ash Wednesday in 1926.

Only the church’s walls, towers, and some the the parish’s record publications survived the fire. The church’s community decided to rebuild top top the same site their grandfathers had built the initial church after lot discussion about the most suitable location. A brand-new church was finished in September of that year, through the remaining adobe towers being the just sign that the original.

Grotto the the Immaculate Conception. Photo: J. Stephen Conn

The new church was committed to the honor and glory of God by Bishop Tihen in the presence of all priests from the mountain Luis Valley and other parishes approximately the state. The church had the old altar the St. Joseph’s Church in Capulin the was used in the parish until 1934. This day a roman format altar designed by Benjamin Chavez is existing in the church.

A 2nd albeit smaller sized fire damaged out in the church ~ above the night of Ash Wednesday in 2016, some 90 year after the an initial fire. Luckily fire damage was only reported in a small hallway and also bathrooms although the entire church experienced from exhilaration damage.

Getting There

Today the church continues to host mass every Sunday in ~ 11 am and is likewise open to visitors. To acquire there, simply head north on Highway 285 out of Antonito and look for the sign stating “oldest church in Colorado.” It’s located on the corner of Highway G6 and also 13.

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Address: 6633 Co Rd 1, Antonito, CO 81120

Phone: 719-376-5985

Season: open up year round

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