On September 4, St. Pius X Parish in Pueblo celebrated its 60th anniversary at a Mass presided by Bishop Stephen Berg. The anniversary Mass was followed by the blessing of a cornerstone memorial in the courtyard. This is the original cornerstone that marked the beginning of construction of the parish church 60 years ago. It was removed 23 years ago to accommodate construction of a new handicap-accessible parish hall with a capacity for 280 people and a foyer connecting it to the church. The cornerstone was set aside but preserved and is now restored with dignity in a memorial in the courtyard that is bounded by the church, hall and parish offices. It is a vivid remind of the “living stones” who are the members of this church – past, present and future.
After the blessing, the parish celebrated with dinner in the parish hall accompanied by classical guitarist Ray Campbell, and was then treated to a piano performance by Bishop Berg, followed by a video of parishioner involvement in celebrated events, and finally entertainment by the parish choir.
The parish was created in 1954 to serve the needs of northwest Pueblo, and named after the newly-canonized saint, Pope Pius X, who encouraged congregational singing, frequent reception of the Eucharist by adults, and who made the Eucharist available to children of seven years of age on up. Two years later the church was completed. It was originally intended to be the gymnasium for the parish school (closed in 1970), but was rehabilitated into the church instead. From 1972 until 1986, the parish was also home for the Catholic families of the planned community known as Pueblo West. Pueblo West built its own church in 1986, St. Paul the Apostle, and continued as a mission of St. Pius X until 2009.
The parish church has a unique feature that’s very rare in any Christian church: the three panels that form the main window are a composite of several symbols from the Old Testament. The Covenant window celebrates both the Mosaic covenant and the Eucharist. This window is a distinctive ecumenical mix of Catholicism and Judaism. The side panels show symbols of Christianity’s Jewish roots: the shekinah glory revealed in the burning bush, God’s revelation of his name “I am who I am,” Mt. Sinai where God revealed himself to Moses, the tablets of the Ten Commandments and the Star of David. The center panel shows a large circle representing the alpha and the omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet (the language spoken in the church for the first 300 years) representing the one, everlasting God. The window’s center is a large cross.
The interior of the church also includes a stained glass window on its West wall that’s a replica of Our Lady of the Beautiful in the France’s Chartres Cathedral. Along the side walls are depictions in stained glass of the traditional 15 mysteries of the rosary. Other unique features are the church’s courtyard area for prayer, meditation, and outdoor services. Adjacent to it, an outdoor Way of the Cross, constructed of copper and rainbow granite, is accessible 24/7 along an outdoor walkway.