Pueblo Mother & Child
“Pueblo Mother and Child” stoneware sculpture by kayti sweetland rasmussen

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
“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.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

8 thoughts on “MADONNA OF THE PUEBLO”

  1. Well, now. I’m not sure which I like better — your Madonna of the Pueblo, or that new photo you’ve posted. Both are wonderful. And of course it tickles me beyond words that you and Nora Sweetland went down the same artistic track — although in your own ways, of course. (Hmmmm…. time to go read your previous post, I think.)

    I very much like the replica of the mission, too. Both the Spanish and the Franciscans were active in mission establishment here in Texas, so the similarities in architecture are obvious.

    I love the banter between you and the young priest, too. I suspect you’ve had the same experience I have — discovering there’s a great freedom in accepting and acknowledging age, instead of fighting it.


    1. People make the mistake of separating the generations when actually the older one still thinks of itself of being a little bit “hip”.
      Those Spanish ponies carried the Franciscans all over the Southwest didn’t they? Like a lot of do-gooders, they didn’t do the Indians too many favors. I wasn’t familiar with the Missions until I took my Campfire group to visit Mission San Jose in the 1960’s. Later we visited all but 2 of the missions. A good lesson in free labor.


  2. Thanks mrsdaffodill. Check out shoreacres blog “The Task at Hand”. She wrote about “The Lady and La Salle”, about the artist Nora Sweetland (no relation). One of her sculptures in the ’30s seems similar. Shoreacres is always a treat.


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