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People outside the Common Room at St. Christopher's Mission in Bluff, Utah in 1950. St. Christopher’s Episcopal Mission was established in 1943 when H. Baxter Liebler, an Episcopal priest from Old Greenwich, Conne., came to Bluff to establish a mission among the Navajo people. St. Christopher’s is named after the patron saint of travelers. When Father Liebler arrived in Bluff, there were no missions, schools, or medical/hospital facilities for the Navajo living in this remote Utah section of the reservation. Before arriving in southeast Utah, Father Liebler studied the Navajo language to make his message comprehensible to the Dineh and compatible with their understanding of harmony. He participated in Navajo ceremonies and wore his hair in the traditional Navajo style - long, pulled back and wrapped. A year after the mission was established, a school was started which became the only school for the 1,500 Navajo living in the central part of the Utah strip of the Navajo Reservation. A hospital/clinic building was completed in 1956. An estimated 500 babies were born in the clinic during the years it was in operation.
A Look Back: St. Christopher’s Episcopal mission on Navajo land in Bluff, Utah, in 1950
| The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Aug 09 2013 07:19 am • Last Updated Aug 30 2013 07:21 am
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