This article describes the effects of the recent shortage of priests on an historic association between the Franciscan Order and the Chiricahua and Mescalero Apaches. To retain their priest at the St. Joseph Apache Mission on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico, the tribe held two separate traditional Apache Blessing Ceremonies in 2013. Now recovering from being a priestless parish, St. Joseph Apache Mission struggles to meet its spiritual and financial needs as parishioners cope with acclimating to an unfamiliar diocesan priest.

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