To restore Sacred Heart Church, the most iconic building in El Paso’s Segundo Barrio, along with the adjoining ex-Sacred Heart School building (now the Pastoral Center) and the building housing the Jesuit residence/parish offices.
Sacred Heart School and Sacred Heart Church were established in 1892 and 1893, respectively, by Father Carlos M. Pinto, a Jesuit missionary from Salerno, Italy in order to attend to the spiritual and educational needs of the barrio community, consisting primarily of Mexican immigrants. The original church and school were built in 1893. The Jesuit residence was added in 1898 but expanded in 1911 in order to serve all area Jesuits. A second floor was added to the school in 1899. The current church replaced the original building in 1923. Sacred Heart Church and Immaculate Conception Church are the oldest Catholic parishes in the City of El Paso.
The buildings of the Sacred Heart Church complex are between 97 and 127 years old and in great need of restoration and infrastructural upgrades but the limited financial resources of this barrio parish has made this impossible.
Our all-volunteer group will apply for the necessary grants and tax credits, raise funds from the community, and oversee the restoration process from the solicitation of architectural bids through the completion of all work.
The Executive Committee is co-chaired by Father Rafael Garcia, the parish’s pastor, and Dr. Max Grossman and includes Bishop Mark Seitz, Church leaders, elected representatives, and professionals specializing in architecture, history, historic preservation, and related fields. The Advisory Council consists of professionals and Segundo Barrio residents who are strong supporters of our cause.
The restoration of Sacred Heart Church will be the first project of its type in the Segundo Barrio National Historic District, which will be established in 2021 thanks to El Paso County, the Texas Historical Commission, and the National Park Service. It is our hope that many other historic preservation projects will follow and that Segundo Barrio will see an architectural rebirth.