SANTA ROSA DE LIMA-PECOS-EST. 1939
P.O. Box 686, 620 E. 4th St., Pecos, Texas 79772
432-445-2309/432-447-9231 Fax: 432-445-2977
Santa Rosa de Lima Parish-Pecos – 1939
Catholic religious services in Pecos began in 1889 in a wooden chapel donated by local families. In March 1890, Pecos received its first missionary priest when Carmelite Father Albert Wagner added the town to the railroad settlements he regularly visited from the monastery in Stanton. In 1924, the first church of Santa Rosa de Lima was built from stones that the parishioners hauled from as far away as 15 miles. The church was named Santa Rosa after the Peruvian saint who was the first female saint canonized from the Americas. On April 17, 1941, Bishop Schuler dedicated the cornerstone of the present Santa Rosa de Lima Church. At that time, the parish was administered by the Order of Augustinian Recollects with Rev. Augustine Cuartero as pastor. In 1945, Father Jose Urrutia, O.R.S.A. built the rectory.
The Santa Rosa de Lima School began in 1916 when it was staffed by the Sisters of Mercy from Stanton. When the Sisters left in 1924, the school remained closed until 1930 when the Ursuline nuns arrived in Pecos. The school closed again in 1939 but was reopened by the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from Tucson who continued operating it until 1965.
The church has undergone several renovations including by Father Agustin Cuartero in the 1940s, Father James Milano who also built the parish school in the 1950s, Father Dante A. Leoni in 1965, Father Ben Flores in 1999, and the last by Father Fabian Marquez in 2011. The work in 2011 included renovations to the altar, windows, walls, floor, and statuary and a new confessional. In 2011, the community celebrated the parish’s 70th anniversary. Today, Santa Rosa de Lima has 2,000 parishioners and numerous ministries including Guadalupanas, a prayer group, Summer Camp, children and youth choirs, RCIA for adults, and a vibrant religious education program for children. Four priests have been ordained for the Diocese of El Paso from Santa Rosa de Lima Parish including Rev. Pedro Dominguez, Monsignor Arturo J. Bañuelas, Rev. Trini Fuentez and Rev. Pablo Matta.
The Baby Jesus used during Christmas celebrations at Santa Rosa de Lima originally belonged to Amador and Magdalena Gochicoa and was a gift from the Augustinian Friars from Spain in the early 1940s who gave it to the Gochicoas as a gift for the family’s hospitality in allowing the friars to stay in their home. The friars requested that the Baby Jesus be laid in a manger every Christmas at the newly built Santa Rosa de Lima Church. The Gochicoas did this every year. When Amador passed away in 1966, Bicenta Gochicoa Jaquez carried on the tradition until 1976 when Father José Valadez purchased a new Baby Jesus. Bicenta then took the doll to Presidio to be used in the manger there. The Baby Jesus stayed in Presidio for three years until 1979 when it was brought back to the Jaquez residence in Pecos. In 2011 after 35 years, Baby Jesus was brought back to Santa Rosa de Lima Church at the request of Father Marquez.