St Anthony of the Desert

Orthodox Christian Mission

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Fr Gabriel

"Like" us on Facebook

We Are a Mission Parish

Bringing the Ancient Faith to Las Cruces…

In 2006 Fr Gabriel and Pani-Matka Susan researched the Southwest to identify regions for a new mission.  We looked carefully at all jurisdictions of Orthodoxy in the USA and pinpointed existing churches and missions. We discovered that Las Cruces, a city of 100,000 with New Mexico State University at 16,500 students, had no Orthodox Church. At the same time we discovered that there was no church north, east, or west of us that was less than 225 miles away. There are two churches in El Paso TX, which is 50 miles away, but the border is indeed that for many people, so we felt confident that there was a mission here in Las Cruces. We moved here in mid-September of 2007, following Fr Gabriel’s participation in leadership at a Conference for Lutherans exploring Orthodoxy that was held at the Romanian Retreat House outside Detroit MI.  We had only a few contacts for Orthodox Christians in the area when we began, and we were helped enormously by connections through Fr Deacon David Mascarenas of Albuquerque and Reader Daniel Vallotton, a former resident of the area now residing in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Our first member was Elizabeth Davies, who has been a mainstay of the parish since we began and serves as our treasurer and choir members.

Our first Divine Liturgy was held 07 October 2007 in our home; in December 2007 we moved to our current home, the chapel of St Andrew Episcopal Church, Las Cruces.

We are blessed to serve under Metropolitan ANTONY and Bishop DANIEL in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. We worship in English with occasional prayers in Spanish and Ukrainian. Our current membership is close to 60 people, some of whom live at great distances from the church and can only attend once a month. This membership comprises both cradle and convert Orthodox, though we are primarily a congregation of converts. Please come and see how God is at work in this mission.