SAN JUDAS TADEO - EST. 1982
4006 Hidden Way, El Paso, Texas 79922
San Judas Tadeo Parish
El Paso – 1982
In 1973, when San José de Cristo Rey Parish in Smeltertown was closed, Catholics living west of downtown El Paso were left with a need for a new church. A number of former Smeltertown residents had for many years been living in a small community called Flashlight, a name given it because of a general store of the same name on Doniphan Street. After the relocation of the last residents of Smeltertown, the small Flashlight community began to grow and was given the name Pacific Park Addition within the city of El Paso. In 1977, Father Luis Cataño, the pastor of San Martin de Porres Parish in Sunland Park, began to offer Sunday Mass for the growing community of Pacific Park. At first, Mass was celebrated in a dance hall behind a small cantina at the corner of Doniphan and Pacific Drive with the celebration transferred to a public park during warmer months. That same year, Father Cataño established a parish council in Pacific Park to begin planning for a future church with Father Francisco Ramirez as the first president.
With the blessing of Bishop Metzger, the parish council purchased 1½ acres of land from the Boykin-Harvey Trust Estate in May 1978. Later that year, Bishop Flores met with the community and St. Jude was chosen as the patron saint for a new church. At that time, a decision was made to first construct a multipurpose center. The inaugural Mass in the new center was celebrated with great excitement at midnight on Christmas Day 1980. In 1981, Bishop Peña dedicated the building as the St. Jude Community Center. With permission of the Diocese, salvageable material from San José de Cristo Rey Church in Smeltertown was used to help build the center.
In December 1978, Bishop Flores appealed to the Conventual Franciscans of the Carlsbad Vicariate to supply a priest to serve the two areas of Buena Vista and Pacific Park. In response, Rev. Giles Carie, O.F.M. Conv. became the pastor of San Judas Tadeo and Santa Teresita Missions. On August 1, 1982, Bishop Peña elevated St. Jude Mission to parish status while Rev. Francisco Herrera was pastor. In 1988, Rev. Rafael Miranda became the new pastor. On Saturday, August 7, 1993, Bishop Peña presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for a sanctuary for 300 worshippers.
On Sunday, May 1, 1994, Bishop Peña dedicated the new church as the Santuario San Judas Tadeo. In December 1995, the second phase of construction began that included a chapel with the same facade as the newly built church, as well as offices, classrooms, and the remodeling and painting of the parish hall. In January 1996, Rev. Richard Weiss was named Associate Pastor to serve the growing congregation of San Judas as well as the mission of Santa Teresita in Buena Vista. Since San Judas Tadeo by this time had more than 400 children in catechism classes and 150 youth in the Confirmation program, the parish requested the help of the Dominican Sisters of Christian Doctrine to work in the religious education program. In January 1998, a neighborhood family donated land to build a rectory which was completed in 2000.
Monsignor Rafael Miranda passed away in February 2002, leaving a legacy of unity and love for San Judas de Tadeo Parish. In March 2002, Bishop Ochoa assigned Rev. Pablo Matta as the administrator. In March 2010, the remodeling of the chapel and new landscaping was completed. Today, San Judas Tadeo is a vibrant community with numerous ministries including the Altar Society, Knights of Columbus, Buen Pastor, Camino Neo-Catecumenal, Border Interfaith, Catechists, Evangelization, Comunidad de Suncrest, Grupo Guadalupano, Matrimonial Group, Music Ministry, Movimiento de Cursillos de Cristiandad, Pan del Necesitado, and a Youth Group. The parish serves over 800 families and welcomes visitors to the Chapel every day who pray to St. Jude.