He came walking up the aisle of the newly restored Mission San Jose de Guadalupe as if he owned it. A handsome young man wearing khakis and an open blue shirt, he had the positive air of someone who belonged there. He couldn’t possibly be the new priest, but somehow I knew he was.
I had come to the church looking for Father Mike Norcutt, the new young priest, to deliver a large sculpture of a “Pueblo Mother and Child” which he had recently purchased from the gallery across the street and which he called a Madonna. I suppose in some respects it truly is a Madonna, though perhaps a “Madonna of the Pueblo”..
He had gone to school with sons of friends of mine, and I felt I knew him though we had never met. I called down to him from a balcony and introduced myself and he tossed up a compliment for a woman of my years: “I thought you’d be an old lady” he called back. “I am” I replied.
“Mission San Jose de Guadalupe” stoneware sculpture by kayti sweetland rasmussen
The city hosts an annual Mission Days celebration for which this sculpture replica was made. The Mission founded in 1797 is the 14th in the Franciscan system of 21 Missions founded by Junipero Serra.