Albuquerque, New Mexico
Immaculate Conception Church, a parish in downtown Albuquerque, N.M., has been staffed by the Jesuits since its founding in 1883. The church’s story began when the Jesuits were assigned to work in Old Town Albuquerque in 1868. Fourteen years later, it became evident that a church was needed and a site was chosen for what would become Immaculate Conception Church. The town’s people generously helped to build the church and St. Mary’s School as well.
From 1892 until his departure from Immaculate Conception Parish in 1924, Fr. Alphonso Mandalari, S.J., became somewhat of an Albuquerque legend. He served on the Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico, and he worked hard for the construction of an orphanage. Fr. Mandalari also helped to provide Jesuit-owned land for the construction of St. Joseph’s Hospital. It was also during his time as pastor at Immaculate Conception that President Theodore Roosevelt made a visit to St. Mary’s School.
In 1956, the church began raising funds to build a new convent, church, rectory and an addition to St. Mary’s School. The dedication of these additions was held in May of 1960.
Today, various parish groups help to respond to a variety of needs of the underserved and underprivileged, including providing a warm lunch for the homeless every Sunday through the parish’s Bread and Blessings program; informing parishioners on social justice events and issues in the community; educating parishioners about Catholic social teaching; and supporting Casa de las Comunidades, a Catholic Worker House, that works directly with the poor and the marginalized.
The Ignatian Spirituality Program of Denver offers Ignatian group retreats, individual spiritual direction, the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, and trains spiritual directors and guides of the Spiritual Exercises.