The church was the last built by Rev. Carlos Pinto, S.J and dedicated by Bishop Schuler on Sept. 17, 1916.
According to Centennial History: The Diocese of El Paso, written by Janine Young, CEO of the Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso, Holy Family “was founded in response to the influx of refugees into the Sunset Heights neighborhood during the Mexican Revolution.” At one time, Young wrote, the parish contained the offices for the Revista Católica Press called Canisius House. The parish’s dedication to helping out migrant brothers and sisters continues to this day.
“In this Year of Mercy, the parish of Holy Family was again given the amazing opportunity to assist Annunication House to care for refugees from Cuba and South America,” said Deacon Frank Rotchford, Administrator and Parish Life Coordinator for the parish.
During the Cuba migration from Juarez into El Paso which started in May 2016, Holy Family housed, fed and clothed approximately 760 migrants from Cuba, Central and South America.
Holy Family was also once home to two parochial schools. The first, according to Young, was opened in Sept. 1919 and operated by the Congregation of Daughters of Most Immaculate Heart of Mary until June 1922 when the Sisters of Loretto assumed administration duties until the school closed in May 1925. The second school opened in 1950 under the direction of the Sisters of Divine Providence until 1967 when the Religious of Jesus and Mary took over until the school’s closing until 1977.
Though the parish no longer operates a school, it still can teach us about our own history. The altar of the church holds the original statute of the Holy Family that was once located at the altar of El Paso’s first Catholic Church, St. Mary Chapel.
Today, Holy Family serves approximately 120 families and is administered by Deacon Rotchford. It also serves as the church for the St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Mission with Msgr. Don Sawyer as the Acting Administrator.