Photos on the journey #428


Mission Mary



Written records for Mission Mary began in 1902, when a thirty four year old priest from the Netherlands started recording baptisms and marriages. Father Nicolas Brocardus arrived in the United States in 1892 and started serving the Big Bend in 1897. At first Father Brocardus rode the circuit on horseback or in a buggy, later in a Ford Model T. Father Brocardus made his rounds about once a month , at that time baptisms and marriages were performed.



Like all growing communities Calera residents eventually decided that they needed a church building, the structure was made of adobe and rock. Although the community was financially poor they banded together to construct the adobe structure. This original building served the community until the late1930s or early 1940s when the diocese that was building a new church in Brogado plastered the original adobe building. Since Calera never grew into a large community it remained a mission first served by Father Brocardus from Saint Josephs Parish in Fort Davis. Later responsibility for Mission Mary fell on the priest from Brogado. Mission Mary was eventually abandoned and only the Church at Brogado remained.



After being abandoned the building became occupied by bats, cows, horses and other creatures. In 2002 Calera Foundation was formed to restore Mission Mary.


Photos on the journey #426


Once again, the treasures found on the lesser traveled road.

This little chapel named Mission Mary, built in 1902 is on FM 3078 near the old TX township of Calera.  You will not find Calera on any road map. Google Calera and you will find Calera, Alabama or Oklahoma. Calera in Spanish means Lime kiln or Lime pit. Calera, Texas is located in Southern Reeves County, Texas, two miles west of the famous San Solomon Springs at Balmorhea State Park. It is not known if Lime was ever mined at Calera ,but lime is present. To many former residents and families of residents, Calera holds a special place in their heart. Although life must have been hard in this beautiful semi-arid desert, residents talk about life at Calera fondly. Calera is a story of how humans migrate to areas with resources for life, a story of missionaries who follow the people and tend to their spiritual needs, the modernization that comes with time and finally people moving on when the resources for life disappear.

It is open to the public and other than a dead mouse, we had the quiet & beauty of the place all to ourselves.

Pezful ez feelin’ @U ††† en theos ††† jlawrence