Message #11 from Father Liebler, Helen Sturges, Brother Juniper, and Joan Eskell dated December 1, 1971;
Indians of North America—Religion; Indians of North America—History; Indians of North America—Religion; Religion; Missionaries; St. Christopher's Mission (Bluff, Utah); Newsletters; photographs; Photographs;
Bluff (Utah); San Juan County (Utah); Utah;
Navajo; Navajo Indians; Navajo Indians -- History; Father Liebler; Brother Juniper; Liebler, Harold Baxter 1889-1982; Missionaries; Religion; St. Christopher's Mission; St. Mary's of the Moonlight Chapel; Photograph;
This letter outlines the first service at the Mission's new chapel, the arrival of the Mission's new bishop, and assistance and services provided to the Navajo;
Digitized by: Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library;
Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives;
Bluff (Utah); San Juan County (Utah);
Reproduction for publication, exhibition, web display or commercial use is only permissible with the consent of the USU Library Western and Mormon Americana curator, phone (435) 797-2661;
Utah State University, Special Collections and Archives;
MESSAGE # 11--December 1, 1971
* * * from
Father Liebler Helen sturges
Brother Jun iper, Ob.S.F. Joan Eskell
Hat Rock Valley Retreat Center; P.O. Box 5
Monument Valley, Utah 84536
**** **** **** **** **** ****
Messages ## 1-10 have been issued at about
semi-annual intervals from September, 1966.
Some back numbers are still available . Ask.
* * * *
Many responded , to our suggestion in the
last MESSENGER, and sent cards so that we
could tell of the date of th~ official opening
of st. Hary of the Moonlight Church;
many came, and many assured us of prayers.
Thanks to all! Actually, two Sundays before
tn~ date settled upon, the roof-beams of the old hogan church began to give away,
and although we shored them up, it didn't seem safe to gather a worshiping group of
all ages into such a place, so we moved the scaffolding and tools aside and held
Sunday Mass in the unfinished, but safe; building. For the opening service we borro~
ed from our friends and neighbors the Adventists about fifty folding cha irs.
Not one seat was empty • .
Service began with a rous i'ng hymn: "How grea t thou art!" and the excellent
accoustlcs of the new church building had a chance to manifest themselves. After
~elcoming the PIgp1e (picture above), especially those who carne from a cons id erable
distance, Father explained to them the difference between a parish or mission
church and a public oratory. st. Mary of the. ljoonlight is in the latter category,
accessible to all who would worship the true tlod through .Jesus, His only Son. He
reminded them that much of the necessary money had corne from persons or groups .
not belonging to the Episcopal Church. Next, he asked a simple blessing (not a
formal dedication or consecration) on the building, and then blessed some accessories
that had been given and/or made for us: lanterns of wrought iron (see
picture on next page), a sanctuary lamp
and a bell (pictured at right).
The Eucharist followed. Prayers
were particularly offered for all who
had contributed to the cost of erecting
the building and who had worked on it.
As you probably know, all work was done
by NavajOS, from the digging of trenches
for the footings to the nailing of the
shingles on the roof -- with the exception
of volunteers from distant parishes
and the technical work requiring licensed
operators, as of installations of
~lectr~cal wiring and fixtures and heating
appliances. And of course, our
Brother Juniper was co-~rdinator and
master builder; Joan was "interior decorator"
while Heien supplied indispensable
help without which' the whole prO.fect
would have been impossible. She is also
active in planting the landscaping alt-
houp;h most of this wil1 .have to wait
the coming of another Spring.