Archdiocese of Santa Fe cancels Good Friday events, discourages pilgrimages

SANTA FE, N.M. — The annual pilgrimages to Santuario de Chimayo and Tome Hill are canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concern for safety. The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe are asking that everyone stay home instead.

El Santuario de Chimayo will be closed Holy Thursday through Easter Monday — April 1 through April 5. NMDOT will not be providing its usual assistance along the routes to holy sites.

“The DOT understands how disappointing this must be for many New Mexicans, but the COVID danger remains and without added safety provisions the risk of injury or death by walking on poorly lit, high-traffic roadways is too great,” said Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval. “Please take care and celebrate safely at home. The department is grateful for everyone’s understanding and cooperation.”

Extra state police officers will patrol the Santuario area beginning Thursday, April 1 through Saturday, April 3.

“While the New Mexico State Police respect the religious rights of all New Mexico residents, as we recommend last year, we strongly discourage anyone from participating in these pilgrimages out of concern for their safety, as traditional safety measures, like traffic control, will not be provided again this year,” said New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Thornton. “We ask that you not make the pilgrimage to the church to keep yourself and our officers safe.”