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Albuquerque: San Felipe de Neri Church

About San Felipe de Neri Church in Albuquerque:

San Felipe de Neri Church was built in 1793. Located on the north side of Old Town Plaza, it is the oldest church in the city and is constructed in the Spanish style with adobe walls that are 5 feet thick.  It replaced an earlier building that collapsed in 1792 during heavy rains.  The church was initially named San Francisco Xavier by Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez, who founded the city of Albuquerque and named it after the Viceroy of New Spain. The Duke of Albuquerque ordered that the titular saint be changed to San Felipe de Neri in honor of King Philip of Spain.

A one-story convento for the Friars was added on the east side and the westernmost room of the structure was a sacristy. In 1817, the administration of the parish was assumed by diocesan clergy. The Franciscans were asked to leave after Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821.

Jesuit priests from Naples, Italy, came in 1867 at the invitation of Bishop Lamy. The Jesuits oversaw a major facelift to the church and adjacent buildings. In 1878 they built a school for boys on the northwest side of the church. At the same time, the land to the east was enclosed for a playground, stable, and corral. Today, the former school building is leased for use as retail shops.

A two-story convent was built on the west side of the church in 1881 and housed the nuns from The Sisters of Charity, who staffed the parish school,  They  occupied the convent until the late 1970s.

In late 1965, the administration of the church, rectory, school, and convent was returned to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and, after 98 years of service, the Jesuits left Old Town.

Except for its tin ceiling, brick floor, and south entrance, today’s church is the same structure as in 1793. In 1995-96, the roof of the rectory was restored to the original look given by the Jesuits in 1890. The new pitched tin roof has a decorative gable above the front door and a “widow’s walk.”

Attending Mass here is like taking a step back in time.

There is a Gift Shop is located in Sister Blandina Convent that once housed the Sisters of Charity. A large selection of reasonably priced religious items and gifts are available.

Attached to the gift shop is a museum featuring furnishings and religious art that have been used in the life and liturgy of the parish throughout the centuries. The Museum is open during various gift shop hours (when there is a volunteer scheduled).

Please call the Gift Shop personnel to confirm availability before you plan your visit at +1 (505) 243.4628.

Finding  San Felipe de Neri Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico:

Address:  2005 North Plaza NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104  (mailing address:  P.O. Box 7007, Albuquerque, N.M. 87194)

Tel: +1 (505) 243-4628   Fax: +1 (505) 224-9495

Click here for the official website of San Felipe de Neri Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico

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