The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s intent to sell hundreds of its properties will pick up speed in the coming months.

The archdiocese, which already has sold at least six properties over the past year and intends to sell 732 more by late July, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018 as it faced a clergy sex abuse scandal. Nearly 400 people filed claims of abuse.

Court records show the archdiocese since August has asked the bankruptcy judge for the right to sell properties in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Raton, Sandia Park and Edgewood. The transactions reaped $7.5 million, with most of that coming from the sale of a large portion of the Carmelite Monastery complex in Santa Fe.

The archdiocese also hired an auctioneer, SVN Auction Services of Florida, to sell 732 properties by July 21. Most are vacant lots of a couple of acres or smaller and were donated to the church by families.

SVN agreed to accept a marketing and sales budget of $62,730 in the online auction. Marketing is expected to start this month.

Records show more than 260 properties are in Valencia County, most listed in the subdivisions of Rio Grande Estates and Rio Del Toro.

Close to 120 of the properties are in Sandoval County, almost all listed in the Rio Rancho Estates subdivision.

Santa Fe County has 13 listed, and Bernalillo County has eight.

The properties show ownership by the archdiocese or parishes within the various counties. They tend to be described simply as vacant lots, but some give a bit more detail, such as “agriculture field,” “grazing land,” “plaza or community area across from church” and “old church site, church was razed, now vacant.”

SVN will receive a commission of 8 percent to 10 percent, depending on if a buyer uses a broker.

The plaintiffs have complained the archdiocese transferred properties to 93 parishes with the intention of hindering their access to them. So far, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma has allowed that contention to move forward over the archdiocese’s objections.

Thuma has said those properties could be worth more than $150 million.

(4) comments

zach miller

imagine in your devote faith you give church property you own because you think they can use it for the good of the community.... but all your property is used for is a way to pay off settlements because the priests abused that very community instead.

Francisco Carbajal

The sadness of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe proposing to sell 732 properties by July 21st without any "public input" from the parishioner's and/or heirs of the original families (owner's who donated the lands to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, etc.), is disheartening. By the way, the SVN Auction Services of Florida are probably elated to be part of this shameful actions by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. I am sure they will be very culturally sensitive to the surrounding minority communities that are adjacent to these lands in question (sarcastically). Frankly, I fear the Archdiocese of Santa Fe will be looking to close down many of the old mission churches that are located in smaller and rural communities in Northern NM. As you know, many of these old mission churches don't make a lot of monies for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and are more of a burden to keep them maintain. The bigger churches and their properties that are located in Albuquerque will be saved because they create a larger chunk of revenue for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Do you really think the Archdiocese of Santa Fe gives a hoots about preserving the old mission churches that exhibit old traditions, customs, and values from an historical and traditional communities like Pena Blanca, La Cienega, Cerrillos, etc. I don't think so.

Raymond McQueen

WOW! 732 Properties! It appears that this Archdiocese of Santa is actually a property holding company or real estate investment trust, rather than any form of religious organization interested in the spiritual welfare of its "flock". Also, we must remember while all of this real estate wealth is in the hands of a business whose employees preyed on the youth of their congregations, all the good citizens of New Mexico we paid to subsidize their activities through their tax-exemptions on all this wealth.

Perhaps our Attorney General and the people of New Mexico should be next in line to shred the tax-exempt status of this most pernicious business.

KK Hannegan

And the Archdiocese sold the Carmelite nuns' property to cover some of their debt. The same thing happened in Los Angeles, CA, Archdiocese: they sold nuns' monasteries and residences.

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