During the 1680 Pueblo Revolt the San Antonio Church at Isleta was destroyed. When the Spanish returned the Church was rebuilt and renamed for San Agustin. In 1789, to honor their beloved San Antonio, the Indians of Isleta and the Hispanics of Los Lentes built a new capilla (chapel). The 1790 Spanish census mentions the “Pueblo de San Antonio en Los Lentes” and named the Lente, Saenz, Piro and Chavez families as being among the many families who occupied the pueblo.
During the mid 19th century the â€˜bulto’ of San Antonio arrived from Mexico and by the late 1800s the stations of the cross in â€˜Folk Federal’ neo-classical style were brought to the capilla along with other statues of saints. These later additions to the capilla reflected the French influence of New Mexico’c first bishop, Jean Baptiste Lamy, who took office in 1851.
The original chapel walls are 30 inches thick and are constructed of â€˜terrone’, a type of adobe block cut from the Isleta swamp. The bell was installed in 1880. The original building was probably rectangular with the current cruciform wings and sanctuary added at a later date. In 1912 a metal roof replaced the original flat roof and at one time there may have been a clerestory window through which sunlight illuminated the altar.
The San Antonio fiesta is still held at the capilla every year on the weekend closest to the feast of St. Anthony (12 June) and many former residents of Los Lentes return to share in the festivities honoring St. Anthony and the community.
Mass is normally celebrated at San Antonio every Saturday morning at 8 am with special Masses for the San Antonio fiesta and Christmas Eve.