1050 North Clark Road, El Paso, Texas 79905
St. Pius X Parish
El Paso – 1955
St. Pius X Parish with over 2,900 registered families is known for its lay involvement, vibrant liturgies, mission focus, Guadalupe celebrations, advanced theology and spirituality formation programs, and solidarity partnerships with the larger El Paso community justice oriented organizations. The book Excellent Catholic Parishes (2001 by Paulist Press) featured St. Pius X on its top ten list of excellent parishes in the United States. The parish logo illustrates the theme of Community with a Mission. Jesus is at the center of the altar table with one hand welcoming all to the community around the table and with the other arm outstretched sending the community forth on its mission of fostering the reign of God.
St. Pius X Parish was founded on March 20, 1955 and named by Bishop Metzger in honor of St. Pius X who as Pope established the Diocese of El Paso. The parish first built a Catholic school where Mass was celebrated in the gym. On June 26, 1993, the community built the present beautiful church facility with a capacity for 1,000 worshippers. The parish today includes the church, community center, ministry center, bookstore, plaza, food pantry, and three parking lots. St. Pius X School, with 400 students, is one of the premier Catholic schools in El Paso. From 1990 to 2006, it was faithfully served by Sister Jennifer Marxer, C.S.J. as principal.
The facilities were also built with the parish logo in mind: a Community with a Mission. The architectural design follows the Vatican II norms for church buildings, the religious history and culture of the border Catholic Southwest, and the pastoral needs of the parish community. The religious art in the church and in the other facilities highlight the rich Catholic tradition of the peoples in the Americas. The 42 stained glass windows in the church, for example, focus on North, South and Central American saints like St. Martin de Porras, St. Juan Diego, St. Elizabeth Seton, St. Miguel Pro, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha. On Holy Thursday 1955, a church full of parishioners including Bishop Metzger witnessed the apparition of the face of St. Pius on the tabernacle veil. The framed veil cloth now hangs in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
In 1988, Monsignor Bañuelas was assigned pastor of St. Pius as well as director of Tepeyac Institute. The first parish assembly was held in 1990 to develop a long-term pastoral plan. The parish has over 2,200 persons trained for ministry, most of whom have been trained at Tepeyac Institute. Presently St. Pius has 62 ministries serving the People of God including: the Ministry for Children with Disabilities with over 148 families participating in special religious formation programs, dramas, choir, Baile Folklórico, Special Olympics, job placements, and retreats; the Sierra Tarahumara and West Texas missionaries who serve in southern Chihuahua and West Texas during the summer and who have been in China, Honduras, and Cuba; the RICO Ministry that serves over 120 immigrant children caught at the border trying to enter the country and are held in detention centers; the Just Faith Ministry that for 52 weeks offers a spirituality formation program based on the social justice teachings of the church; the Sacred Earth Ministry that focuses on environmental justice; the San Martin de Porres Ministry that regularly assists over 300 poor families; the Mejor Mujer Ministry for women who wish to deepen their leadership skills and discipleship; the large youth programs of FIAT and Jóvenes Nazaret which do mission outreach, Sunday choir, youth evangelization, religious dramas and praise nights. The annual city-wide César Chávez Memorial Mass is held each March at St. Pius X in conjunction with the Centro de Trabajadores Migrantes.