Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens Opens in Downtown Trinidad

News

TRINIDAD, Colo. — Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center is pleased to announce the expansion of its main campus to Downtown Trinidad.

Opening Sunday, July 18th, Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens hopes to bring the heart of Trinidad a majestic outdoor setting for health and wellness programs, spiritual reflection, family fun, cultural celebrations and special events. Organizers say the community celebration is expected to draw upwards of 500 in-person attendees plus hundreds of online viewers.

Located at 225 N. Commercial Street, the Gardens is a tribute to Sister Blandina, who at the age of 22, was sent alone over the Santa Fe Trail to Trinidad. She pioneered education and created School District 1, the first school district in Colorado. Sister Blandina served the Trinidad community for nearly a decade in the late 1800s, was a champion for children and the oppressed, and is now being considered for canonization.

The opening festivities will begin with a mass, blessing and dedication with presiding prelate His Most Reverend Bishop Stephen J. Berg of the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo, Bishop Emeritus Michael J. Sheridan of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs and The Most Reverend Bishop James R. Golka of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs.

Attendees will experience a storytelling performance by acclaimed film producer Michael Fitzgerald, screenwriter and filmmaker Brendan Fitzgerald, and Allen Sanchez, initiator of the cause for canonization of Sister Blandina.

The Colorado Springs Conservatory will perform a theatrical reenactment of Sister Blanding in her younger and older years with actors Linda Weise, founder of the Conservatory and Elena Soto. Musical performance by Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center’s Youth Orchestra and local performers Tom Lang, Chris Smith and Randy Welch. Las Animas County District 1 Commissioner Felix Lopez and Trinidad City Council Member and KCRT radio personality Eli DeBono will serve as masters of ceremony for the morning and evening events, respectively.

The site of the Gardens, over one acre in size, was once occupied by three buildings. In the Spring of 2020, the Trinidad Construction Group started redeveloping the area.

Steered by the vision of Jay Cimino, Founder of Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center and CEO of Phil Long Enterprise, the Gardens has waterfall features, a gazebo for special events and performances, a fire pit, a pergola for upcoming food markets, wellness walk courses, and a 5 ft., 4 in. life-sized bronze statue of Sister Blandina designed by Pueblo-born and renowned sculptor Fred Darpino.

Coming soon, the Gardens will also have five fitness stations, a playground, and a reflection pool. With over 9,000 flowers, the architected floral design includes a combination of pine and deciduous trees including blue spruce, hawthorns, pear and plumb trees, as well as shrubs including spirea, barberry, grasses, red roses and beautiful flower beds displaying zinnias, coleus, petunias, salvias and marigolds.

Details:

Who: Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center
What: Grand opening celebration of new downtown location, expanding health and
wellness programs for Las Animas County
When: Sunday, July 18

Line-up of events:
• 9:30am: Gates open
• 10:00am – 11:15am: Mass, Blessing and Dedication; His Most Reverend Bishop
Stephen J. Berg of the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo, Bishop Emeritus Michael
J. Sheridan of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs and The Most Reverend
Bishop James R. Golka of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs.
• 11:15am: Guest Speakers Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Trinidad Mayor Phil
Rico, Sister Judith Metz, historian for the Sisters of Charity, and Jay Cimino,
Founder of Mt. Carmel Wellness
• 11:30am – 12:00pm: Colorado Springs Conservatory, theatrical reenactment of
Sister Blandina in her younger and older years; performers Linda Weise, founder
of Colorado Springs Conservatory, and Elena Soto
• 12:00pm – 12:30pm: Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center Youth
Orchestra led by Conductor Jacob Seekatz
• 1:00pm – 2:00pm: Live music by Tom Lang
• 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Live music by Chris Smith and Randy Welch
• 1:00pm – 4:00pm: Free trolley tours of historic downtown Trinidad, on the hour,
meet at main entrance of the Gardens on Commercial Street
• 6:00pm – 7:00pm: Live Sister Blandina story telling performance by acclaimed
film producer Michael Fitzgerald, screenwriter Brendan Fitzgerald and Allen
Sanchez, initiator of the cause for canonization of St. Blandina
• 7:00pm – 9:00pm: Live music by the CappTon Reid Band
Where: 225 N. Commercial Street, Trinidad CO 81082; Street closures starting at 6:00am at Commercial and Main, and Commercial and Elm. After 9:00am, street closures at Commercial and Church, and Commercial and Convent.
Emcees: Las Animas County District 1 Commissioner Felix Lopez (9:30am – 12:30pm)
and City Council Member and KCRT radio personality Eli DeBono (6:00pm – 9:00pm)
How: Register online at mtcarmelcenter.org or by calling 719.575.7463. Live-streaming on Trinidad local Comcast channel 71 and on YouTube Channel TrinidadTimesTV71. Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens is operated by Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center. The Gardens’ business office is located within the Champions Building, 127 N. Commercial Street, Colorado Springs, CO, Monday through Friday, from 9am -12pm. Media is invited to attend. Interviews available upon request.

ABOUT MT. CARMEL WELLNESS AND COMMUNITY CENTER
Founded in 2010, Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center’s mission is to nurture the mind, body and spirit of our local Trinidad community so as to raise Las Animas County’s ranking to be in the top 50% of counties for best health and wellness in Colorado by 2030.

From April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021, Mt. Carmel with its partnership with Salud Family Health provided over 10,000 healthcare visits to community members and attendance of over 6,100 for its health and wellness programs.

Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit southern Colorado
resource that provides wellness programming and event space to foster the health and
wellbeing of the Trinidad Community.

Mt. Carmel’s main campus is located at 911 Robinson Avenue, Trinidad CO.

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