El Paso, Texas-Ciudad Juárez and in between

Once again my friend Bob and I are on the road to travel to Mexico to gain travel papers for me. Our scheduled location to meet with the US officials is Ciudad Juárez; we plan to visit other locations along the way and on our return trip. On the road to Ciudad Juárez we decide to take the 'back roads' rather than the freeways to see if we can discover some interesting locations and sights. The first we stumble upon is a beautiful old stone church in Villanueva, New Mexico, along highway 3. The Catholic church is Our Lady of Guadalupe. This trip was in December of 2007 and as you can see, there is snow falling in the pictures. The doors were locked, so we were not able to enter.

As we traveled, Tularosa, New Mexico presented us with the most wonderful Spanish style mission: St Francis de Paula - Franciscan Mission founded in 1865. This time the doors were open and we were able to visit.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Stone Church in Villanueva, NM

Beautiful hand carved wood doors

Here I am next to their shrine to
Our Lady of Guadalupe

As we continued, we saw a bird of prey in a tree

And an old abandoned homestead along highway 3

St Francis de Paula Mission in Tularosa, NM

The entrance walkway to the church

Again, beautiful hand carved entrance doors.

An alcove with our Lady of Guadalupe

A shrine and candles to Our Lady of Guadalupe

The main altar

The choir loft and main entrance

The full sanctuary with the main altar and side alcoves

El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

Our next stop was El Paso, Texas and the larger Mexican boarder city of Ciudad Juárez. While waiting to cross the boarder and do papers we were able to visit the mountain overlooking El Paso, the boarder and Ciudad Juárez. Here are a few pictures.

While in El Paso, we discovered a Train Museum

It's called the Railroad Museum of El Paso

Here I am in front of Engine number 1

We then traveled to southern El Paso to visit the old mission

Mission Ysleta del Sure

Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe

The main sanctuary

The main altar

Statue of San Isidro Labrador the patron saint of poor farmers

Carlsbad Caverns

After our business was finalized and I had my traveling visa, we returned via a different route and first visited Carlsbad Cavern National Park. Wow, what you see underground. God's beauty is truly everywhere! The pictures speak for themselves. (One note: the last picture is the men's room in the underground visitor's center. The unique part is that rather than remove rock from the cave, they built the room around the stone as you can see at the far end.) Being the month of December, we were not able to see the flying of the bats as they had migrated to Mexico for the winter. However, one advantage of visiting this time of year is that we were nearly alone and had free range of the entire set of main caves without running into anyone except once, a pair of park rangers that were very helpful in giving us more information about the caves.

Christ's Passion represented at Groom, Texas

On the way home from Carlsbad Caverns, we routed ourselves through Amarillo with a side jaunt to Groom, Texas. It is a tiny town east of Amarillo, Texas on Interstate 40. What's so special about Groom you may ask? Well outside Groom along the freeway is the tallest cross in the Northern Hemisphere. Around the base of the cross, that can be seen 20 miles away, is a group of life-size bronze statues of Christ's Passion or as we in the Catholic Church call them The Stations of the Cross along with many other features and sculptures. Again, as it was December, it was very cold. There was sleet and freezing rain the day we were there, so everything had frost and ice crystals on it, an interesting effect and so much different than the summer and spring pictures that are normally available. (Note: There are a few pictures that were from another visit as you can see. It turned out to be too cold to snap a picture of every station, so the others were taken on the other trip.) They also have a gift shop along with an another building that has a life-size replica of the Shroud of Turin. Here is their website for more information.

The 190 foot tall Cross

Christ's Passion begins with Passover or the Last Supper, here represented with 2 disciples, the bread of life and the blood of salvation with the Crucifixion behind.

The First Station
of the Cross
"Jesus is Condemned to Death by Pilate"

The Second Station
"Jesus Carries his Cross"

The Third Station
"Jesus Falls the First Time"

The Fourth Station
"Jesus Meets His Blessed Mother"

The Fifth Station
"Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry the Cross"

The Sixth Station
"Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus"

The Seventh Station
"Jesus Falls the Second Time"

The Eight Station
"Jesus Consoles the Holy Women"

The Ninth Station
"Jesus Falls the Third Time"

The Tenth Station
"Jesus is Stripped of his Clothes and Receives Gall to Drink"

The Eleventh Station
"Jesus is Nailed to the Cross"

The Twelfth Station
"Jesus Dies on the Cross"

The Thirteenth Station
"Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross"

The Fourteenth Station
"Jesus is Laid in the Tomb"

The Cross is a reminder of what Jesus did for us

The beginning and the end

Christ breaks bread with his disciples

The Divine Mercy Fountain

As you can see by these

pictures, it was cold and icy

Me with the last supper, you can see that the statues are life-size

Me with the angle in the tomb

This statue shows Christ holding a fetus with a tear on his cheek for the unborn

The 10 Commandments

The Beatitudes

Groom is not very big as you can see

Pictures on this page photographed by Bob Snyder

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First Created: 01/07/06 Last Updated: 04/02/11

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