History of St Vincent de Paul Parish, Silver City, NM (excerpted from
article by Dr. Donald H. Montoya)
Until 1820, New Mexico was part of the land claimed by Spanish
conquistadores. After the Mexican-American War of 1848, what is now
New Mexico, was part of the land declared a United States territory on
September 9, 1850. On November 24, 1850 Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy
was appointed Vicariate of Santa Fe by Pope Pius IX.
In 1874 Bishop Lamy was elevated to Archbishop of Santa Fe (the first in
New Mexico).
In May 1860, gold was discovered in Pinos Altos. Around 1868, silver was
discovered to the west of La Cienega de San Vicente. That’s when Silver
City evolved from a mining camp to a well-developed community.
In March 1874, French-born Rev. Oliver Ruellan arrived in Silver City,
began building a church on the same site where it stands today. With the
passing of time, seven other priests succeeded him as pastors, up to our
current parish pastor Rev. Oliver Obele, who continues to guide and
shepherd the parishioners of St Vincent de Paul Parish.
The following events will be held in September 2024, and all parishioners
are invited to attend and/or become more involved in supporting these
• Sept. 27: Josh Blakesley Concert.
• Sept. 28: Lecture on the History of St Vincent de Paul Parish by Dr.
Donald H. Montoya. Cake and refreshments will be served.
• Sept. 28: Evening Formal Banquet, Flame Convention Center. Guest
speaker: Most Rev. Bishop Peter Baldacchino.
• Sept. 29: Holy Mass, 10 a.m., Fine Arts Auditorium, Western NM
University campus. Picnic at Gough Park.
For more information about this grand celebration and events, please
contact: Levi Leyba, Chairman, 575-590-5021.