Our Lady of Las Palomas Interfaith Center

"Dedicated To Giving The Disadvantaged A Hand Up"

History

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The Vision

A small adobe building with a simple arched patio built around an old house trailer in Columbus, New Mexico inspired Richard and Edith Haines with a vision of an interfaith chapel.
 
The Renovation
 
The Haines purchased the property in 1981 and began the renovation in 1985 with the help of many local people who donated materials and hours of labor.

The Early Years - The Evelyn Haines Memorial Chapel

The Evelyn Haines Memorial Chapel was open for worship by any demonination. It was available for weddings, funerals, and memorial services. The chapel has a registered private cemetary. It was privately owed by Dick and Edith Haines who accepted no financial help.
 
The Dedication of Saint Antony of the Desert Chapel
 
On October 4, 1987, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the chapel was dedicated. The Rt. Rev. Richard M. Trelease Jr., D. D. Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rio Grande presided over the dedication of Saint Anthony of the Desert.
The Rev. Montney held Episcopal services at the chapel until ill health prevented her continued ministry. Homer Gillette conducted services until his retirement. Father William Haller of Deming
came to the Columbus
 
chapel for Orthodox services.
 
Rededication as St Francis of Assisi Orthodox Mission
 
The Chapel was rededicated as an Orthodox mission and Father Haller took up residence. Father Haller donated the altar, lectern, baptismal font, and tabernacle. He served there until his death in 1990. He is buried at the chapel.
 
After Father Haller's death James Franklin of Columbus conducted interfaith Sunday Services.

Wonderful Gifts

Benefactors, Dick and Edith Haines, with Ken
and John and The Rev. Vicki Montney at the first
Easter Sunday service at St. Anthony in the Desert.

In 2000 Edith and Richard Haines gave the Chapel and Twelve lots to Kris and Judith Lethin. The Lethin's then gifted the property to Our Lady of Las Palomas Hermitage and Retreat Center a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. The Lethin's want to see the property developed into a interfaith spiritual and humanitarian center.

Special Gift

In December 2007 Edith Haines gifted sufficient funds for Our Lady of Las Palomas to acquire the adjacent six lots and house next door to add to the Retreat Center and its development.