October 27, 2021
We are pleased to announce that the National Fund for Sacred Places, a program managed by Philadelphia-based Partners for Sacred Places in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has awarded a matching grant of $250,000 for the restoration of Sacred Heart Church in the Segundo Barrio. They have also awarded an additional $5,000 that will be used for our ongoing grant writing effort.
There were 307 applicants from all over the country and only 15 winners. Of these, Sacred Heart Church was one of only five to win the maximum award.
"The 15 sacred places selected to join our Fund this year are more than beautiful houses of worship. They are irreplaceable civic assets that provide invaluable resources to their communities, sharing space for everything from COVID-19 vaccinations to nutritional food programs and child care programs," said Bob Jaeger, President of Partners for Sacred Places.
Restore Sacred Heart Church has a mission of restoring Sacred Heart Church along with the adjoining former Sacred Heart School building, now the Pastoral Center, and the rectory, the building that houses the Jesuit residence and church offices. The buildings of the Sacred Heart Church complex are between 91 and 127 years old and in desperate need of restoration and infrastructural upgrades.
Limited financial resources of the church, located three blocks from the Mexican border, have made this impossible. The Restore Sacred Heart Church Fund is a vehicle for those who wish to contribute. The Catholic Foundation will oversee the distribution of funds intended to support the Restore Sacred Heart Church Project.
It's estimated that the restoration of Sacred Heart Church will cost between $2.1 million and $2.7 million. It will cost between $3.9 million and $4.5 million more to restore the adjacent former Sacred Heart School and Jesuit Residence buildings.
Thousands of El Pasoans were baptized or married in Sacred Heart Church and tens of thousands from both sides of the border have participated in mass there or joined community events. Thousands also attended Sacred Heart School, established in 1892. The Jesuit parish has deep roots and connections in the Mexican/Mexican-American community and with the El Paso community at-large, and close ties to the many families who reside in the Segundo Barrio, so much so that it has long been known as el corazón del barrio.
In 2021, the Segundo Barrio National Historic District will be established and the Segundo Barrio can look forward to an architectural rebirth.
If you would like to honor or memorialize a loved one with a gift for the Restore Sacred Heart Church project, click here.