Benfield's 2013 Travels travel blog

Cathy and Lee in the Dining Room of the Rectory

Navajo Last Supper

Guest Room at the Mission

Bath with the Guest Room

Small Chapel

Cross in the Chapel

St.. Michael's Church

Crucifix near the Church




The Altar

Cathy's Office

Side of the Church/Rectory Building

Father's Garden

Cathy passing the Convent

Cathy's Home at the Mission


Cathy drove back to the Franciscan Mission in St. Michaels with Lee following in the truck. She took us on a tour of the Rectory ending in the basement offices where she works as the Mission Archivist. Then we went to her quarters in a small building behind the old convent.

Cathy offered to let us stay in the Mission while we were there, however, we hate leaving our own bed and lugging stuff back and forth. It is really easier for us to find a place nearby to stay so that we have all the comforts of home as they say. They are nice guest rooms, however, and the BIG bathroom looked really inviting!

Cathy works at St. Michael's Mission as an Archivist. She has been here for several years but this is our first visit to the Mission. It is located on the western slopes of Black Creek Valley. St. Michael's was named after Saint Michael from the convent name which was St. Michael's Convent. The convent existed on the site prior to the rest of the mission and has been occupied by Sisters until the last year or so.

The Franciscan mission was founded by Franciscans in the town of St. Michaels in 1898 at the invitation of Mother Drexel. This was to prepare for her founding of St. Michaels Convent, and St. Michaels Indian School in October 1902. St. Michaels Convent and school were established by Father Juvenal Schnorbus with Father Anslem Weber, his assistant. The site was donated by the Reverent Mother Katharine Drexel, head of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament of Philadelphia, in 1898. Interestingly, Katharine Drexel was the niece of Anthony J. Drexel, the founder of Drexel University where Lee attended and received his graduate and Masters Degree in Civil Engineering.

The mission was for many years the headquarters of Father Weber’s fight for Navajo lands. The Franciscans operate from here in general fieldwork with the Navajos and continues to serve the people of the community.

The mission continues to serve the people of the St. Michael community.

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