By Morgan Kinniry

After over a week of working hard in the field, Dr. Kloepper decided that the research team deserved a day off. Because it was Sunday, we all headed into town for a day of fun activities that could be found in the area. The plan was that while I went to mass, other members of the team could go to a coffee shop for Wi-Fi and cell phone service. Our goals for the day also included floating down the Rio Grande in an inner tube, visiting the natural hot springs, and eating a famed green-chili cheeseburger for lunch. Many rumors were swirling about who had the best green-chili cheeseburger in town. Since none of us were locals, I decided that I would find out the best lunch spot from the parishioners after the mass I would attend.

In Truth or Consequences, I attended mass at a parish called Our Lady of Perpetual Help. As I walked into 11 o’clock mass, I saw that the assembly was quite small and made up of approximately 65-70 people. My presence as a newcomer did not go unnoticed. Mass began like any other mass would with an opening procession, and liturgy of the word. As the priest took his place for the homily, rather than getting into the expected synopsis and analysis of the readings, he asked “Do we have any visitors celebrating mass with us this weekend?” I quickly glanced around the small congregation and realized no one raised their hand. Not wanting to lie in the middle of mass, I raised my hand indicating I was a visitor. The priest then curiously asked where I was from and what brought me to Truth or Consequences.

I responded that I was in town from Notre Dame, IN for biological research on a colony of bats. With that answer, the entire congregation turned around with an intrigued and collective “Oooooh”. At that point, I could feel my face turning red. The priest then kindly went on to ask questions about the bat colony and began saying that I will enjoy the area. Before he could finish his thought, I asked out loud: “Where is the best place to get a green-chilli cheeseburger?” The priest and the parishioners then responded in unison without hesitation, “Tony’s on South Boulevard!” The priest then continued on that Tony’s closes at 2PM so I should head over there right after mass.

With that, he then went into the rest of the homily and mass continued as usual. After mass ended, the gentleman next to me gave me more detailed instructions on how to get to Tony’s and explained that he lived next door to the restaurant. I thanked him and then met up with the rest of the team to head to lunch. When we pulled up to the restaurant, sure enough my friend from mass was waiting outside of his house to make sure that we found the restaurant. The green-chilli cheeseburgers at Tony’s were as delicious as promised and did not disappoint. Sunday Funday then continued with a free-floating tube ride down the Rio Grande followed by a soak in the natural hot springs, which were so relaxing! Special thanks to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church for sending us to the best green-chilli cheeseburger establishment in town!IMG_1477.JPG.jpeg