2017-02-01, Dawn Santiago, "The Heart of Las Cruces", History of Saint Genevieve's Church

Wendy Clarke InductionPresident Christopher Dulany opened the meeting of the Rotary Club of Las Cruces with a hearty ringing of the bell at 12:13 pm, a short delay requested by Kristi Granados so that she could get the invocation ready! Christopher led us in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States, and Blaine Goss led the singing of Red River Valley.   A lively meet and greet followed.  Greg Fant was the mystery greeter.  The money can grew greatly with that mystery!  Jim Scott wondered if that was beneficial to all concerned.

President Dulany shared the many birthdays, anniversaries, and club anniversaries and we say Happy Birthday to our Rotarians.

Ted Shelton’s guests were Terry McGinnity from Good Samaritan Village and Wendy and David Clarke from WDG Architects.  Patty Groth hosted Pamela Angell and Sandi Vogann from St. Luke’s. Pamela shared a few words about St. Lukes.  Our Mayfield High School student of the month was Kevin Brooks.

Our visiting Rotarians were Dan Jones and Teresa Griffith from Marietta, Ohio and Richard Haas, President Elect of the Rio Grande club.

Barry Fisher announced that he will be bringing details next week on the Rotary sponsored kids’ talent show.

Many HAPPY $$s followed:  Barry Fisher was very happy for the current 20-2 record of the Aggie Men’s  Basketball team;  Kristi Granados was very happy to be heading to Idaho for several days of skiing in Wyoming; Andy Taylor was happy about the Aggie ropers; Steve Loman said “Go Cowboys!”; and John Hernandez was mighty glad to be with us.  Thank you everyone for sharing your Happy Bucks!

Patty Groth announced that we were finally able to cash out the Dodge/Cox fund and make a contribution of about $128,000 to the NMSU Foundation.  This amount will be doubled by the NMSU Foundation to create our Rotary scholarship fund.  The check will be presented at the NMSU Aggie Basketball game on the 4th.

Wendy Clarke, WDG Architects, was inducted into the club by Kristi Granados.  Ted Shelton is her sponsor and shared some of Wendy’s bio.  Wendy also shared her enthusiasm for becoming a member of the club.  We are all thrilled to have Wendy among our membership.

The Program

Dawn Santiago, wife of Rotarian Mark Santiago, presented a photo history of St. Genevieve Church, The Heart of Las Cruces. 

The first pastor of the newly formed parish in Las Cruces was Father Manuel Chavez and in 1859, the first church was built under the leadership of Father Pierre Lassiagne and Mother Praxedes Carter, Sister Superior of the Loretto Convent.  The church was the center of Las Cruces where the majority of activities took place.  In 1886, the church’s adobe structure was replaced by a brick cathedral with two tall towers.  The foundation could not support the weight of the towers, so the towers were lowered. But in 1967, the iconic church structure was demolished due to structural issues and a new church was built at a new location on Espina.  While the church has gone through many changes over its history, including its location, it remains a vital part of Las Cruces and our history.

After the Program

Jim Scott presented a vintage Boy Scout ball cap to Bill Harty.  Christopher Dulany was fined for his bad jokes.  $128 was collected for the charity.

Mary Ellen McKay had the winning raffle ticket but pulled a queen.  $409 will be forwarded to next week’s raffle pot.

The meeting closed with the 4-Way Test.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Teresa Griffith

Dan Jones

Wendy Clarke

Ted Shelton

David Clarke

Ted Shelton

Terence (Terry) McGinnity

Ted Shelton

Pamela Angell

Patty Groth

Sandi Vogann

Patty Groth

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

Richard Haas

Rio Grande

Dan Jones

Marietta, Ohio

Student Guests



Kevin Brooks




Date Club




Submitted by Kristi Granados Kristi Granados