Dear Editor,

In Vol. 54 No. 1 of “Voice of the Southwest”, your story on the history of 75 years as a diocese highlighted St. Bonaventure located in Thoreau. In the excerpt about the first church, you ended its explanation with “The mission has since closed…” I am afraid this is not true.

The small church you referenced in your story actually evolved into St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School, which continues to be fully functional and thriving. At St. Bonaventure Mission, we provide service to over 200 young Navajo children and their families. Through our outreach programs we provide direct, often life-sustaining assistance to the Navajo people including water, food, clothing, home repair, housing assistance, and home visitation services.

St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School has never been closed and we work extremely hard to ensure that it never will, so to have read that the mission had been closed was of great concern to us and our community. It is our hope that this letter will reach your readers so that they are fully informed of the history on the great and rich history of our region. Our faith and people are resilient, and we hope your stories continue to reflect that.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Chris Halter

Executive Director
St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School


Editor’s response: Thanks for the letter, Chris. I had meant to write that the original parish at Thoreau is closed, but chose the wrong wording. I apologize for the error, and wish to thank the people at the mission in Thoreau for all the great work they do, including their collaboration with the Dig Deep project to bring accessible water to the Navajo reservation.