The 400-year-old San Miguel Church in Socorro County is getting a $1.1 million grant to complete a restoration and expand services.
The grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, along with $400,000 dollars raised in the community, will be used for a museum, a gift shop and a classroom for at risk youth programs at the historic church, which was founded in 1598.
Conrad Hilton of the famous hotel line was baptized at the San Miguel Mission, and Pastor Andy Pavlak says he got help from some of Hilton’s distant relatives when he applied for the funding.
“It’s kind of nice that the family who kind of started here continues to look on this area as a place of philanthropic assistance," Pavlak said.
The San Miguel Mission is one of the oldest churches in the U.S. It closed its doors in 2010 because of water damage and a severely deteriorated roof.