Friday, April 10, 2020

Ranchos de Taos Coronavirus Pilgrimage Good Friday April 10, 2020

On Good Friday April 10, 2020 we started out at 10AM from the San Francisco de Asis Church on the Good Friday Pilgrimage for the traditional five mile walk. 
In it's entirety, along with breaks the walk lasted until 1:30PM.

Fresh Palms are left outside under the cross at San Francisco de Asis Church.

When we arrived there was a woman praying out loud out front of the Church. Otherwise there was no one around. We proceeded on our own with thoughts of prayer and devotion for our loved ones. 

A box of Mass schedules and Bibles sits on a bench outside the Parish hall.

As the Taos News quoted me in Tempo recently in an article by Tamara Testerman in her 'A Time to Make Art' essay: "Writer, artist and gallery owner Robert Cafazzo said, 'Our best right now is art, especially now with the Churches closed. if the Agnes Martin room at the Harwood Museum were open, I'd be in there saying prayers.' Cafazzo is out and about walking in creative prayer every morning, taking photos and staying positive. The doors may be closed with access by appointment only, but the creative process as do the prayers continue."

A solitary woman recites the Penitente Prayers in front of the San Francisco de Asis Church.

As we passed people in their front yards, driving by in vehicles or at a few of the particular sites along the way it was easy to see the fear ease in their eyes, smiles grew on faces and a sense of hope was there to feel in their hearts. We met a Mother and son lighting a candle at the Talpa Chapel who were happy to speak with us. Later a man working in his field looked up at us and asked, "Are you on the Pilgrimage Walk?" 'Yes we are' we answered. "I'm sorry the Morada is closed, even the Church is closed, I haven't seen it like this since the 'Blue Virus' years ago, (I thought he meant the Swine flu?, or possibly Hantavirus?), they closed all the churches that time too." I had a feeling he was a Penitente man, he wished us well and good health thanking us for keeping up the tradition. We spoke of how people who saw us along the way, 'witnessed' us and prayed with us as we passed by. 
Birds all around were making nests as butterflies fluttered and pollinated the flowering trees. Rabbits and squirrels leapt along roadsides just ahead of us as chickens clucked and dogs barked.
We are blessed by our experience today and thank you all for being there with us in spirit. 
In my heart I dedicated this walk and all my sorrow to Eric T. who recently passed away. 

Along Valerio Road we began our walk together with not a soul in sight.

Our Sangre de Cristo Mountains dominate the landscape. Flags and blossoming orchard trees were the predominant sites to see along with the scent of spring flowers.

Tree in springtime


A carving of Moses reaches into the Taos Blue sky.


Once a statue of Guadalupe adorned with Rosaries stood in this nicho along the crossroads, it has been stolen. I’d like to replace her some day.

The Corvid 19 pandemic has many of us wearing gloves, it is unfortunate that some choose to drop them onto the ground, although this one does remind me of the Blue Love Glove from Yellow Submarine.

The enchanting pink gate.

Blossoms greet us as we arrive at the Talpa Capilla.

Mercy & Manuel Torres light a candle outside of the Chapel door.

Prayers and Holy Candles left at the chapel. 

A Crown of Thorns sits on a table with Holy Candles outside the Talpa Capilla doorway.

Through the window of the empty sacristy. 

Crown of Thorns 

Crosses along an adobe wall.

A Talpa Road reminiscent of a Gustave Baumann print.


Apple Orchard

Mannie guided us at a safe distance to the Talpa Capilla.

Arriving at the Talpa Capilla.

The Cross dressed in the Purple of Easter.

A view of the Talpa reservoir which feeds the acequia system through the area.

Talpa Capilla from the point of view of the embankment surrounding the reservoir.

A cross decorated with lights.

Outhouse with Moon cutout on the side.

Magpie Van painted by local Taos Artist Jim Wagner.

Prayer feathers on dried stalks blowing in the wind.

Apricot blossoms 

Holly at the orchard.


Pedernal off in the distance from the Ranchos de Taos cemetery.

The acequia systems are running at this time of year all over Taos to water crops and gardens.

Arrival at the Ranchos de Taos Morada.

Barbed Wire and Madonna.

Locks and Cristo

Cristo carrying the burden of a pandemic world. 

A loan fruit tree blooms by the Morada.

Flags flying as the afternoon breeze picked up.

Entryway to the Taos modernist artist Andrew Dasburg home.

The long abandoned tri-cornered house.

Through the window of the abandoned house prayer candles await.

Arrival at the Espinosa Road Morada.

The gravesite of Dennis Hopper.

Ironwork along the road.

Andy’s once a Ranchos hot spot, now left to its own demise.

Drive-Ups seem to be popular again.

Arrival at the Ranchos de Taos Church.

Purple adornment of the Cross.

Two people social distancing in prayer on the benches out front of the Church.

The most famous view of the San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos is the back.

As per request, the entire route is this: 
From San Francisco de Asis up Valerio Road heading east, to 518, on to the Talpa Capilla, then back to 518 left turn on to Maestas Rd. which winds and bends at Isabela Rd. turn left keeping you on Maestas Rd to the Talpa Morada. Across the street is the reservoir located behind the embankment. Onward north down Maestas Rd. left onto La Morada Rd to the cemetery and Ranchos Morada located at the intersection of 518, heading west to Espinoza Road turn right until you reach the Morada, then turn around and back to 518, cross the highway which will take you onto South Espinosa Rd you’ll pass the former home of Peggy Pond Church, keep walking down the hill. A right turn onto Valerio Rd, a right turn at Andy’s Cantina and back to San Francisco de Asis Church. A 5 mile loop! 

Our Lady of the Corona

Holy Candles at a local Taos market for live streaming Mass services and updates.

The Coronavirus Corvid-19 pandemic has put us all into the throws of despair. 
For many their Faith is something to enable them to get through this, and we will get through this. 
As to congregating for Mass at this time, please don't do it. Far too many have become ill after religious meetings, hoping that faith would be the answer. 
Pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona, the Navajo Nation and other native peoples of the region are getting sick and spreading the disease in their communities after attending religious services. 
At this time, please do not gather in groups. 

Today as we set out, I asked if anyone else was on a Pilgrimage Walk that they stay 6-10 feet away from us and others. 
Today we silently prayed on our walk together to heal one and all.
Stay well, Stay safe.

We've been closed since March 22, 2020. 
Two Graces is currently offering Gift Certificates. 
A Gift Certificate for Two Graces may be redeemed for a guided history tour, Art, Books or Curios at any time in the future. Merchandise for sale can be shipped or delivered locally. Take a look at our website
Purchases are simple, mail a check to PO Box 1587, Ranchos de Taos, NM 87557, we in turn will send you the Gift Certificate or the merchandise requested and our gratitude.
You can also reach out to me at
Thank you, R&H


  1. Robert, Probably a lot of folks walked with you in spirit and in prayer today. You are an inspiration to us all. Thank you. Beth

  2. Robert, thank you. I lived across the street from your prior gallery for 5 years. When I got the news of my mother's sister's death (a few years ago) I was drawn into the St Francis Church to pray. During the time that I knelt, an elder woman came over to touch my shoulder. Forever to remain unnamed, she held me so tenderly as I grieved. Thank you for posting the Good Friday pilgrimage. My mom was very devout. She suggested it wasn't quite right for people to show up on Easter if they had not observed the preliminaries of Holy week. She was soft spoken... Mom was not one to pass judgment... And her words have stayed with me. At home today my husband and I sang together from the hymnal. We will have a little itty bitty service (perhaps five of us) outside the Methodist Church in Velarde on Easter Sunday. I will decorate or make shift alter with forsythia. You are guiding light Robert.

  3. Thank you for taking us with you on this pilgrimage. I am reading from the quietness of Holy Saturday morning. Out near the Gorge, we have no spring buds on trees or apricot blossoms out here. Thank you for bringing the joy and grace of your journey to my home. The walk with the Lord is mostly deeply an internal one, alongside our fellow travelers. Thank you again for sharing your faith with us.

  4. Thank you for including us on this journey of spirit and faith. I miss New Mexico to the depth of my soul, and these pictures and words bring peace and joy on this holy weekend.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. It really lifted my spirits.