Historic Missions Preservation

Endowment Fund

The Historic Missions Preservation Fund supports the on-going restoration and preservation of El Paso's three historic missions: Socorro, San Elizario, and Ysleta. These missions are included in the National Register of Historic Places and are Texas historical landmarks.

Current Value

Reaching our goal would support the future care of the missions for countless years.

About this Fund

Unlike similar Spanish colonial era missions in the United States, the three missions of the El Paso Mission Valley - Socorro, Ysleta, and San Elizario - have functioned as the religious and social centers of their communities virtually uninterrupted since their founding in the 17th and 18th centuries.  The Mission Valley, which is located 15 miles southeast of downtown El Paso, is the oldest settled area of El Paso and one of the oldest settlements in the United States. 

The oldest of the El Paso mission churches is Nuestra Señora de la Concepción del Socorro located in the town of Socorro. The Socorro Mission was established in 1680 when Spanish colonizers from northern New Mexico fled the Pueblo Revolt with Piro natives and other tribes. The finely painted beams, or vigas, contain decorations of the original Native American builders and date from the first structure. The massing and decorative elements of the mission show a strong relationship to the building traditions of 17th-century Spanish New Mexico. Today, the Socorro Mission belongs to La Purísima Parish.

San Elceario Mission, located in the town of San Elizario, was founded by the Spanish in 1789 as a presidio or fort for Mexican troops stationed in the Mission Valley. U.S. troops were assigned to the presidio in 1850 and during the Civil War volunteers from California were stationed there to prevent a reoccupation of the area by Confederate forces. The one-story chapel is built in the traditional Spanish Mission style. Today, San Elceario Parish has 470 registered. The historic church receives visitors and tourists almost daily and the parish is the site of a major town festival each summer. 

The third mission is located in the community of Ysleta within the city limits of El Paso and is part of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish. The parish was established in 1682 and the mission completed in 1692. The Annual Ysleta Mission Festival, recognized as one of El Paso’s premier festival events, provides much needed financial support to operate, maintain, and preserve the mission and its surrounding buildings. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish is administered by Franciscan Friars. Our Lady of Mt.Carmel is rich in Catholic as well as in Tigua tribal traditions.

  • 3
    Historic missions: Socorro, San Elizario, and Ysleta
  • 1680
    Year Socorro Mission was established
  • 1789
    Year San Elceario Mission was founded
  • 1682
    Year Ysleta Mission was established
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Upcoming Events

September 23, 2021

15th Annual Foundation of Faith Event: Ignite Your Hearts

We are going VIRTUAL in 2021 with the dynamic Mark Hart and musical guest Israel Houghton! The event will be live streamed on YouTube. Going virtual means that we can reach more people, raise more funds to support this great mission, and you get to have more fun!

View Details

Why Give to Endowment?

Endowed funds provide a vehicle through which individuals make outright or planned gifts that will have an everlasting impact on the ministry/parish/school. In time the income generated by the gift will far exceed the original donation.

As a result, endowed funds provide a perpetual, supplemental source of income for such things as the enhancement of programs and ministries, facilities maintenance, scholarships and seminary assistance, priest retirement, etc. Learn more about endowed funds.

Other Ways to Give

In addition to online donations, there are a variety of ways you can donate to support this fund.

By Phone or Mail

To donate by phone, please call:
(915) 872-8412
(Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT)

To mail your donation:
Download our Donation Form PDF

Monthly Giving

Monthly giving can be a powerful way to provide sustainable, long-term support for our Catholic community. As little as $20 (66 cents a day) can make a difference for the people and parishes that are helped by the ministries and charities of the Diocese of El Paso.

Setup a Monthly Donation

Legacy & Planned Giving

Make a planned gift through a charitable gift annuity, charitable remainder trust, life insurance policy, retirement plan, or other planned giving instrument.

Learn more about planned giving

Establish a Named Fund

Donors may create a Named Fund with a gift or pledge of $10,000 or more over a five-year period benefiting the endowment fund of their choice. If you are interesting in establishing a Named Fund in honor of an endowment fund, please contact us online or call (915) 872-8412.

Named Fund Donors Supporting the Historic Missions Preservation

Steve and Tracy Yellen Family Fund
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