San Felipe Courtyard/Description
San Felipe de Neri was founded in 1706 and has been used continuously since. A Spanish adobe in the shape of a cross, it was originally attached to a one-story convent for the Franciscan friars who occupied it until they were booted out by the Mexican government after its independence from Spain. Nineteenth-century additions included two towers atop the narthex, a school building, and restrained Victorian flourishes. The Church is now under the authority of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. There are currently 800 families registered to this church, which is on the National and State Register for Historical Properties. It is open to the public daily.
The entire area has been enchantingly transformed by the spectacular display of luminarias. Luminarias are candles set in a bed of sand inside a paper bag. When all the candles are lit, they create a golden glow all over the village. These candles, which line the church, plaza, and walkways, are set out to light the way for the Christ Child at Christmas.