Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Wake for a Fat Vicar: Father Juan Felipe Ortiz, Archbishop Lamy, and the New Mexican Catholic Church in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Wake for a Fat Vicar: Father Juan Felipe Ortiz, Archbishop Lamy, and the New Mexican Catholic Church in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century

Article excerpt

Wake for a Fat Vicar: Father Juan Felipe Ortiz, Archbishop Lamy, and the New Mexican Catholic Church in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century. By Fray Angélico Chávez and Thomas E. Chávez. (Albuquerque: LPD Press. 2004. Pp. v, 217. $25.95 hardback.)

Fray Angélico Chávez is widely known for his writing on New Mexico culture and history. In the 1980's he published two volumes of a trilogy on Hispanic leaders of the New Mexico Church in the nineteenth century. The first, But Time and Chance (Santa Fe: Sunstone Press, 1981), offered a much-needed corrective to dark portrayals of Padre Antonio José Martínez of Taos. The second, Tres Macho-He Said (Santa Fe: William Gannon, 1985), sought to rehabilitate the reputation of Padre José Manuel Gallegos of Albuquerque. Later Chávez turned his attention to Father Juan Felipe Ortiz of Santa Fe. Before his death, in 1996, Chávez asked his nephew, Thomas E. Chávez, a historian, to complete the book. Wake for a Fat Vicar is the result of their combined efforts.

Chávez and Chávez divide the biography into two parts. The first provides information to help the reader understand the context in which Vicar Ortiz functioned, including diocesan contacts with Durango, Mexico, and the challenges and burdens he faced. It reports on his service in the National Congress in Mexico City, and the intricate web of family ties and friendships between key figures in Santa Fe history of the period. It also challenges reporting by figures such as Josiah Gregg and Richard Smith Elliott as culturally biased. Building on their own previous scholarship, Chávez and Chávez reconsider Ortiz's alleged role in the 1847 Taos revolt and the vicar's relationship to the new American government.

The second part details the shock waves that followed the transfer of the New Mexico Catholic Church to the American bishops, and the arrival of Jean Baptiste Lamy, who later became first archbishop of Santa Fe. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.