About St. Francis Xavier
In the summer of 1838 Fr. Ferdinand Helias, SH came to the area now known as Taos to care for the spiritual needs of German immigrants. There were only 20 families gathered when he celebrated Mass for the first time on May 28, 1838.
Soon, 10 acres were purchased from the Haar family to be used for a church and school. In 1840 the first church, as simple log structure, was built and dedicated to St. Francis Xavier. The community was known as Haarville until the soldiers returned from the war with Mexico and began to call the town Taos.
The second church made of stone had the distinction of being the first stone church built in the interior of the state, completed in 1944.
On the morning of August 11, 1874, Fr. Helias was found dead in the church courtyard and buried in the parish cemetery. In 1964 his body was moved to the church and reinterred.
It was under the direction of Fr. John Guender in 1881 that plans were made for the erection of a third church. The old rock church had become too small for the growing parish. The present church was finished in 1883 and was dedicated to the glory and honor of God that year.