St. Francis Jerome
In 1910, there were two missions in the San Luis Valley dependent on Del Norte for religious coverage: St. Michael the Archangel, and St. Francis Jerome, (both missions were founded by the Jesuits). Until 1919, priests from Del Norte traveled once a month to St. Francis to say mass and administer the sacraments. Then, near the end of 1919, Catholics purchased a small house and built a chapel. It remained the gathering place of worship until 1955.
On January 1, 1951, after many letters, and several trips to Pueblo to confer with the Bishop, the mission of St. Francis Jerome was finally granted parochial status, and assigned its first resident pastor, Rev. John Sierra, S.F., a native of South Fork. Rev. Sierra was succeeded by his brother, Rev. Frank Sierra, S. F. Shortly after the second Fr. Sierra became pastor, he announced plans to build a new church for the growing congregation, and purchased land on the county highway in May, 1955. Through much effort of the pastor, the parishioners and the contractor, the basement of the church was completed in time to celebrate midnight mass that Christmas. The final project was completed by the summer of 1961.
St. Francis Jerome became a clustered parish in 1997.