The land for Mount Cristo Rey was purchased by the El Paso Diocese in the 1930s when that part of Southern New Mexico was in the El Paso Diocese. The Monument to Jesus Christ, known as Cristo Rey, was commissioned by the Church, built by Spanish sculptor Urbici Soler, and completed in 1940.
Mount Cristo Rey is a Catholic Shrine, and became part of the newly-created Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces in 1982. Annual pilgrimages have been held at the mountain since the 1930s. Las Cruces Bishop Ricardo Ramirez conducted a Mass atop Cristo Rey on October 29, 2006. The Summer 2006 heavy floods closed the mountain, but the Mount Cristo Rey Restoration Committee went to work and patched the trails so the annual pilgrimage could occur. However, funds are needed to pave the dirt trails with asphalt so future heavy rains will not jeopardize access to Mount Cristo Rey.
The TV documentary explains the mountain’s human and geological history, which now dates to 100 milion years ago with the discovery of hundreds of dinosaur tracks at the base of Cristo Rey.
Included with each copy of this DVD is a booklet detailing the history of El Paso’s Mount Cristo Rey.
That DVD cover shot of the Cristo Rey Monument at sunrise and moonset took some effort to videotape. You are seeing the first useable frame of video after running down Doniphan Drive about 7am on a June day as traffic wondered what I was doing. I had to run to “get under” the moon as it picked up speed when it got closer to setting. The moonset from this point to going completely behind the Cristo Rey Mountain took about 7 minutes, and that entire moonset is on this DVD as bonus material.
JACKSON POLK, producer