Mayordomos guardian angels for San Miguel Mission

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As caretakers of the church grounds, the mayordomos of San Miguel Mission take their job seriously.

“We don’t do it for recognition, we do it from our faith, traditions and culture to give back to the church,” said Head Mayordomo Annie Anaya.

There are smaller mission churches located in Socorro County in — Alamillo, Riley, Kelly, San Lorenzo, Polvadera, San Antonio, Magdalena, Lemitar, Luis Lopez, which is the mission of San Jose, and the Newman Center, Anaya said. These smaller mission churches serve as providers for the mother church, San Miguel, and there are 12 mayordomos in total.

The mayordomos for the mission churches, who are responsible for maintaining and keeping the church clean, are all members of the San Miguel parish. Each parish has their own feast days, each one with its own identity, Anaya said.

“We are happy there are members of our mission churches that do the same thing as the mother church,” Anaya said.

Mayordomos are also make sure all the supplies are ready for Saturday and Sunday services. With special celebrations, they make sure the church is clean and they prepare the church for big celebrations, such as Easter and Christmas. For Christmas, they set up the nativity scene and make sure things are in order for the celebration to go as planned.

“Our responsibility is to make sure everything runs smooth, and the environment is appropriate for worship,” Anaya said.

The mayordomos clean the inside and the outside of the church on a weekly basis. Inside, they perform tasks such as dusting, mopping, cleaning vessels, candle holders and the statues. The job of a mayordomo is to also properly prepare the sacrament for each of the masses.

With funerals, they make sure the families feel welcome and they meet all of their needs. To be a mayordomo, a person must be a member of the church with knowledge of the church services. The members need to be registered and be active in one of the masses, she said. They must also be a volunteer. There is always an opportunity for people to be a mayordomo, Anaya said. “Our main concern is to focus on the needs of the church, that supplies are available for liturgical services.”

The mayordomos also help with the outside of the church, making sure the grounds are clean, and taking care of the needs for the liturgy for fiesta services. The people who can’t be mayordomos year around help when they can with big celebrations, because there is a lot of preparation and decorating that needs to take place within the church, she said.

“People don’t realize who is in the background to make a celebration a reality for people to worship,” Anaya said.

Mayordomos are currently preparing for the San Miguel fiesta where they will carry banners and the statue of San Miguel during the precession. In order to make sure things go as planned, they prepare ahead of time, and some of the mayordomos from other churches will be at the fiesta to help assist them.

During the San Miguel fiesta, held Sept. 28-30, banners representing each of the mission churches will be placed in different areas. There will be a representative from each mission and some will volunteer in food booths.

The smaller mission churches are recognized at the fiesta. Children from the Newman Center will host a silent auction, and others will volunteer in the kitchen.

The mission churches and San Miguel come together to raise money for their mother church, Anaya said. It’s also San Miguel’s responsibility to help the mission churches sustain their parishioners, she said.

“It’s an honor to be a mayordomo,” says Anaya. “They become your family.”