St. Francis of Assisi Church seeking donations for restoration

Photo by Marie Mccolm The 7 Mile Plaza community elders and others are asking for the public’s help to restore the historic St. Francis of Assisi Mission Church.

7 MILE PLAZA — The 7 Mile Plaza community elders along with other people, are asking for the public’s help to restore the historic St. Francis of Assisi Mission Church. The church needs a new roof and adobe walls.

The church was founded in 1881. The church is nestled on a green hill in 7 Mile Plaza and is also near a historic cemetery.  In 1881, Juan Pio Valdez donated property to put the church on it. A cemetery and school were also added to the property, in collaboration with Pio Valdez and the community.

According to the website, in the 1930s the church was standing room only, with many people in attendance for the grand services held there.

Over the years, there have been many religious groups and leaders that have visited the church while it was open. There was also a grand alter that was brought in from Spain in the 1940s and installed in the church. Although many people do not know this, Juan Pio Valdez and his wife Nestora are buried under the church's grand altar.

The church is also commonly known as Los Valdez’s, due to the generous donation by Pio Valdez, of the property.

The church enjoyed many years of worship, but over the years the little church has been forgotten as people who lived in 7 Mile Plaza have grown and moved away. Due to the lack of attention and attendance, the church needs attention to remain a church.  

There are steps currently being taken to restore the church. Viginia Simmons and a group of professionals have requested that the church be registered as a Colorado historical place. The request was approved, and the church is being listed as a Colorado Historical site.

As a historical site, many people see how the church was used for many years for masses, baptisms, gatherings, and communion. Though closed, the church is still used for funerals, but upon request only.

Elders of the 7 Mile community, and others are reaching out to the surrounding communities and all organizations who would be willing to donate money to help restore the church.

Contributions will help restore and reopen the church for the community and preserve a historical landmark.

To make a donation, email Deborah Romero at [email protected] or call 303-552-8321, or mail donations to PO Box 590, Monte Vista, CO 81144. Sign check or money order to the San Juan Catholic Community and reference in the memo line, St. Francis of Assisi Mission Church.

To donate with a credit card, visit the church’s Gofundme page at Please Help Repair Our Mission Church Los Valdeses.