Following ancient tradition, relics were buried in the floor underneath the altar. The relics are of St. Stephen, Martyrs of the early church, San Pedro de Jesus Maldonado, and a piece of rose colored granite that lined the entrance of one of the two world trade towers destroyed on 9/11.
All liturgical furnishings were designed by Ken Griesemer of Kenneth J. Griesemer & Associates, P.C., Albuquerque, New Mexico and were then crafted by Christ Sandoval of Artisans of the Desert, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico
Stained Glass Windows
All stained glass windows designed and crafted by Jeff Smith of Architectural Stained Glass, Inc., of Ft. Davis, Texas.
Learn more about the Stained Glass images in the church at:
The Communion of Saints consists of eight tapestries designed by John Nava (Ojai, California) and fabricated by the artist in Belgium, near Bruges. Four women and four men were selected. With the exception of St. Stephen, these men and women represent the Church of the Americas. Some are known and object of popular devotion and others were chosen to introduce them to foster devotion.
Saint Stephen Deacon and Martyr
Patron of the parish and the first martyr of the church, Acts 6:1-7:60. Stephen was a Greek speaking Jew and was one of seven chosen by the apostles to assist them with their ministry. He is called a “deacon,” which means servant and helper, he is a “martyr” meeting a witness to the faith. Stephen is the first Christian martyr. Stephen is the patron saint of deacons, headaches, horses, coffin makers, and masons. He is often represented carrying a pile of rocks or with rocks on his head. Relics of Saint Stephen can be found under our Altar.
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680)
Kateri was born in upstate New York as a member of the American Mohawk tribe. She became a Christian at 17 and stunned by her tribe, She lived in a Christian settlement near Montreal until her death at 24. Known for her virtue of chastity and mortification of the flesh, as well as being shunned by some of her tribe for her religious conversion to Catholicism, she is the fourth Native American to be venerated in the Catholic Church and the first to be canonized. In December 2011, after evaluating the testimony of a young boy who claimed that his infection with flesh-eating bacteria disappeared after he prayed for her intercession, Pope Benedict XVI recognized Tekakwitha as a Saint. She was canonized the following October. For some time after her death, Tekakwitha was considered an honorary yet unofficial patroness of Montreal, Canada, and Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Fifty years after her death, a convent for Native American nuns opened in Mexico. They have prayed for her and supported her canonization.
Servant of God Dorothy Day
Dorothy is not a canonized saint although her cause for sainthood has been initiated. Dorothy grew up in a non-religious home, but in her 20’s became a Catholic. Influenced by her growing faith and the needs of the Great Depression she spent most of her life in service to the Poor. She founded Worker Houses of Hospitality in major cities throughout the United States and started the publication “The Catholic Worker.” She protested against poverty, war, and all forms of injustice. She is thought by many to be a 20th century prophet.
San Pedro de Jesus Maldonado Lucero (1892-1937)
Pedro is closely united with the history of the region, especially during the persecution of the Church after the Mexican Revolution. Pedro was ordained a priest at St. Patrick Cathedral by Bishop Schuler on January 28, 1918. Pedro worked in Chihuahua focusing his ministry on the catechesis of children, fostering devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Virgin Mary. He was attacked and beaten in Chihuahua City, Mexico and died on February 11, 1937. On November 22, 1992, Fr. Maldonado was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II. On May 25, 2000, he was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II. Relics of San Pedro de Jesus Maldonado can be found in our Blessed Sacristy.
Saint Katharine Drexel (1858-1955)
Katharine was from a wealthy Philadelphia family. Shocked by the poverty she experienced traveling through the United States, she founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. She directed her ministry to the education of Native American and African American children. Katharine opened her first school in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After her death in 1955, Katharine was beatified (one of the steps in becoming a saint) in 1987, 100 years after she was inspired to enter religious life after a meeting with Pope Leo XIII. The first miracle ascribed to her occurred in 1974, when a local boy’s eardrum was healed. She is the patron saint of racial justice and of philanthropists. Drexel was the daughter of the American financier and philanthropist Francis Anthony Drexel.
Saint Martin de Porres (1579-1639)
Martin ministered to the poor, cared for the sick, the homeless and he opened a home for abandoned children. Pope Gregory XVI beatified Martin de Porres on 29 October 1837, and nearly 125 years later, Pope John XXIII canonized him in Rome on May 6, 1962. He is the patron saint of people of mixed race, and of innkeepers, barbers, public health workers and more, with a feast day on November 3.
Saint Rose of Lima (1586-1617)
Rose was born in Lima, Peru, the youngest of a large family. Rose wanted to devote her life to prayer and lived in a little hut in the family garden. She opened a room in her family’s home to provide care for the poor and the sick. She dies at age 31. Rose is the first person of North, Central or South America to be named a saint. St. Rose of Lima. St. Rose of Lima, Spanish Santa Rosa de Lima, original name Isabel Flores de Oliva, (born April 20/30, 1586, Lima, Viceroyalty of Peru [now in Peru]—died August 24, 1617, Lima; canonized April 12, 1671; feast day August 23, formerly August 30), patron saint of Peru and of all South America.
Saint Juan Diego (1474-1548)
An Aztec Native-American to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in 1531 and whose cloak (tilma) contained roses and the imprinted image of Guadalupe. He was buried in the church, and his tilma can still be seen in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. His existence, which had been questioned by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, was confirmed by the Vatican, and Juan Diego was beatified on May 6, 1990, and canonized on July 31, 2002, by Pope John Paul II. He is the patron saint of indigenous people.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Selected for the Marian shrine.
John Nava had been working on this particular image for several years and used this particular adaptation for St. Stephen Parish. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patron Saint of the Americas and Mexico.
The Architecture of St. Stephen Deacon and Martyr Church was recognized with several awards given to the Architect-Alvidrez Architecture. An article in the 2010 March/April edition of Texas Architect also featured St. Stephen Deacon and Marytr Church.