San Jose Church was demolished earlier this year after the El Paso Diocese and the City of EL Paso determined that the 100-year-old church could not be renovated. At a meeting held last night with Bishop Mark Seitz, San Jose parishioners found out at the diocese will not allow the church to be rebuilt.

The Lower Valley parishioners say they raised over a million dollars to renovate the church, but the walls started to collapse during that renovation, and that’s when engineers said it was unsalvageable.
During the meeting Bishop Seitz said the aging of the parishioners at San Jose, as well as the lack of priests were part of his decision to merge San Jose with the Santa Lucia Catholic Parish.

The churches will now share a priest.

Audience members began shouting that they wanted their money back, but Seitz said that money is in a restricted fund being held in trust for the parish by the Diocese. The money can only be used by San Jose parish for capital purposes such as religious education classrooms.

The fight to save San Jose Parish may not be over. Some parishioners said after last night's meeting that they will be hiring a lawyer.