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.
Reaching our goal would support the future care of the missions for countless years.
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.
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.
In addition to online donations, there are a variety of ways you can donate to support this fund.
To donate by phone, please call:
(Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT)
To mail your donation:
Download our Donation Form PDF
Monthly giving is a powerful way to provide sustainable, long-term support. As little as $20 (66 cents a day) can make a difference for the people helped by the parishes, schools, ministries, and charities in the Diocese of El Paso.
Creating a bequest in your will for the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso is a powerful statement in your legacy, and costs you nothing today.
Donors may create a Named Fund benefiting the endowed fund of their choice with a gift or pledge of $10,000 or more over a five-year period. If you're interested in creating a legacy in honor or memory of a loved one, contact us online or call (915) 872-8412.