QUESTA, N.M. (KRQE) – It was a resurrection five years in the making. On Sunday, a small New Mexico village reopened the doors of a very old church that was nearly torn down.
It took 41,000 hours and nearly a million dollars for the keys to St. Anthony’s Church to finally be handed over to the Archdiocese.
This day was years in the making. After the church walls collapsed in 2008, some people felt like the historic church, built 170 years ago, wasn’t worth saving.
“The solution as we saw it was to fix it, there were some that felt the only solution was to demolish the church,” said Mark Sideris, the construction coordinator for the project.
Demolishing the church wasn’t an option for many, including Questa native Danielle Lovato. She said her entire family got together to try and find a way to help rebuild the church. They succeeded after donations came pouring in.
“They got their prayers answered, I should say, by getting the allowance to rebuild such a historical landmark in our community,” she said.
The restoration effort leaned heavily on the community of Questa to make sure the church was restored to what it had been before.
“Everything was fully detailed and they wanted to make sure when the people saw it they saw the true life of this church,” said Jose Lovato, a volunteer in the project.
Sunday’s Mass drew in hundreds of people and community members said they hope this is the start of a new tradition that will continue for years to come.
“I’m happy that I’m able to bring up my three kids the same church and community that I grew up in all my life,” said Danielle Lovato.
Mark Sideris also said the original building stood without a foundation for 170 years and as part of the restoration efforts, they made sure it now has one.