Church work

Scaffolds abut the church as guys do the much-needed renovation.

ABOUT A DECADE back, folks knocked on the gate and asked for a contribution to construct a short bridge over a ravine a few blocks down our street.  It would have solved a serious traffic glitch, so we kicked in 200 pesos.

The work on the bridge began, but it never finished, and remains undone to this day. The traffic glitch lives on.

A couple of months ago, folks again knocked on the gate and asked for a contribution to renovate the church. They asked for lots more, 2,000 pesos, about $115 U.S.

My wife mentioned what happened to the last money we contributed for neighborhood projects. Oh, no, this time it will happen, the folks declared.

Being community-minded and knowing the 500-year-old church on the plaza was on the point of collapse, we handed over the cash, mentally kissing it vaya con diós.

But religious projects trump street work any day hereabouts, so the church renovation is under way, and I have no doubt it will be completed. I am glad even though I am neither Catholic nor Christian. Architecture matters.

In the almost 15 years we’ve lived in our hardscrabble barrio, and the thousands of times we’ve walked the plaza, I imagine we have not stepped through the church doors more than five or six times. The same cannot be said of our neighbors. The church is the focal point of the community.

The weddings and funerals we witness there are numerous. There is no priest in residence, so masses are sporadic.

One cannot help but wonder why the Pope, who is likely richer than Bill Gates, Raul Castro and Carlos Slim combined, does not finance the renovation of his churches, leaving it sometimes to unbelievers like myself.

While walking the plaza this morning, I also shot the photo below. An old, beat-up VW Beetle and an old Chevy Pop like the one we owned from 2000 to 2014. I wonder how often one sees these old Beetles above the Rio Bravo now.

They’re quite common down here even though Mexico halted production in 2003.

History survives in many forms.

12 thoughts on “Church work

  1. I was blessed with a 1962 VW bug. It was a lemon. Kept sucking the valves into the head. Finally got rid of it.
    They were not very practical for rural Texas where I spent a lot of driving time at that point in my life. Bought a brand new Plymouth Fury.

    Interesting facts regarding your local church. Is the populace there still primarily Catholic. What percent non-practicing. We see large numbers of non-practicing Catholics in our area of Texas. Still the Catholic churches here seem to be plenty affluent.


    1. Lordy, Ricardo, is the population here still primarily Catholic? Is Raul Castro a communist? Is Barry Obama a closet Mohammedan? Why, sure. In the course of a conversation with my wife this morning, I opined that the Catholic Church has Mexico by the pelotas. She was a bit taken aback by that even though she’s not a practicing Catholic. Apart from being the religion it is, it rules the roost down here with tons of social obligations and regulations, stuff you simply do without question. So, yes, about everyone is Catholic one way or the other. And Catholic churches are all over the place.

      When my first wife and I parted company, we had a white Beetle convertible, early ’70s. Boy, was that ever fun. Alas, I left it with her as I rushed out the door, so to speak. Loved that car. She promptly ran it into the ground due to neglect. I coulda cried.


  2. I’m glad to hear you’re contributing to keep the maintenance of Catholic real estate. It might shave off a few days from your sentence in Purgatory.

    Just got back from Iceland where people don’t seem to worry about the Hereafter or maintenance of church buildings. The government pays for all that. Imagine!



    1. Señor Lanier: What in God’s name were you doing in Iceland? I’d like to go to Iceland. Attempting, however, to draw a political analogy between Iceland and its tiny population that is homogeneous in culture, race, language, etc., with, say, the huge United States, which is homogeneous in almost no way these days is, well, a bogus analogy. You people are also fond of trying to compare the United States with Sweden, which also has a tiny population that is homogeneous in culture, race, language, religion (or lack of), etc. — all entirely different from the United States.

      Alas, Sweden went all PC and invited in hordes of Mohammedans and has become the rape capital of Europe. That and lots of other severe problems associated with the Mohammedan invasion has really taken the shine off Sweden, especially for the Swedes, so many of whom now regret what their socialist government has done to them. Pity and whoops!


    2. P.S.: The government pays for all that. Imagine!

      Actually, the government does not pay for “all that.” Lordy, you sound like Bernie Sanders. The citizenry pays via stiff taxes. Governments have no money aside from what they strong-arm from the people.

      And here’s another place where the government “pays for everything.” Or tries to, miserably. Cuba.


      1. The current population of Iceland is only 334,252, about the same as the city I live in. I am certain that they have far fewer churches than Uruapan. The churches are probably considered community property.

        The Icelanders are nearly all old Norse Lutheran and are not all that religious. My sister-in-law is Icelandic and she and my nieces and nephew spent the summer there and had a great time.


  3. A church building is nothing more than architecture. It has nothing what-so-ever to do with Christianity.

    Perhaps we will discuss this one sunny day in the plaza.


    1. Ray: So it was architecture that I contributed to, not the Vatican. Good to know. As for that sunny day on the plaza, you just have to jump on a plane. Bring the Redhead if she’s brave enough.


  4. The most amazing church I was ever in was in Taxco. The fresco art work was beyond spectacular. I understand the artist who did the work did something similar in Ciudad de Mexico and was never seen or heard from again.

    In Rosario (a hardscrabble pueblo) outside Mazatlan, a church has a solid wall of gold (leaf, I imagine) that was featured in National Geographic.


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