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Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 5:35pm
El Paso (KDBC) — Dozens of parishioners in the Saint John Paul II Parish gathered for mass, for the first time.
Estella Wells, one of the parishioners, said she was excited about the first parish in Santa Teresa since they made the announcement earlier this month.
"We were looking forward to it. We couldn't wait to attend, actually. So we feel blessed," Wells said.
Wells and her family traveled 35 minutes to attend Sunday's mass.
"This area here is growing, very much, in leaps and bounds....We need more parishes here," Wells said.
Others traveled from areas as far as Deming to support the start of this new church..
Debbie Odell and her husband drove from Deming to support the newest church under the Diocese of Las cruces. She added Father Enrique Lopez-Escalera used to be the pastor at Saint Ann's, the church she currently attends in Deming.
Father Lopez-Escalera said the Diocese of Las Cruces recognized the need for a parish to serve Santa Teresa...
"We have San Martin De Porres to the south. And to the north we have our Lady of Refuge and Saint Anthony's, those would be the closest parishes here. And so there is a vacuum in between," he said.
Father Lopez-Escalera said he has a big outlook for the new church but there is still work to be done.
"The plan is to organize ourselves into various committees, pastoral council, finance council, fundraising, planning committee. And then the planning committee is the one that's going to help me identify the site, the land, we will then acquire," he said.
For now, the Sunland Park YMCA will be the home of the parish, until a permanent location is built.
The English mass begins at 9 a.m. and the Spanish mass starts at 11 a.m.
The YMCA is located at 6400 Mason Farms Road.