El Paso

Historic Ysleta Mission restored as part of half a million dollar restoration project

Oldest church in El Paso reopens its...

EL PASO, Texas - The oldest church in El Paso is finally reopening its doors for good, just in time for Easter!

A half million dollar restoration project on the historic Ysleta Mission is complete.

The historic site is located in the Lower Valley on Zaragoza Road, right behind Speaking Rock Entertainment Center.

The project was supposed to be completed in just a couple of months. But when other issues were discovered, it turned into a year long restoration. And permitting issues backed up reopening another two months.

Back in January, after Bishop Mark Seitz blessed the doors of the Ysleta Mission. It was supposed to reopen at that time following the $500,000 restoration, but permitting issues left the church doors open for just a day.

The doors were were locked up again at the order of City inspectors.

"One day only," Father Miguel Briseno told ABC-7. "But the problems have been resolved and we're moving forward to truly once again have the mission open on Monday."

Father Briseno said its been a long wait for those who flock to the historic mission, originally built in 1680, rebuilt in the 1800's and destroyed by fire in the early 1900's.

"The majority of this work was paid for by the Tiguas," Father Briseno said. "They felt that this was their project."

Tigua Lt. Governor Chris Gomez told ABC-7: "It was originally just supposed to be the floor, then we discovered other things. Then we had some permits we didn't know were required. We did it the justice it deserves. It's something I think people here take for granted."

The director of the City Inspections department told ABC-7 all hurdles have been cleared for reopening next week.

"We're used to being able to go in any time we wanted," said Mary McVay, a regular parrishioner of the church, who has been waiting to get back inside for 14 months. "This is a fantastic time to have it!"

"I think it's a treasure that i think el paso at times forgets that exists here," Father Briseno said. "Come out and enjoy the beauty and the sacredness and the peacefulness of this sacred place."

Father briseno called it a sense of new life for the parrish and the community. He added that paperwork is expected to be finalized in time for a Monday reopening of the mission.

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