RESPONDING TO A RIVER
Mission Socorro, originally given the name Misión de Nuestra Señora de la Limpia Concepción de los Piros de Socorro by Governor Diego de Vargas in 1691, was established during Mexico’s Spanish colonial period in the 15th century. Dramatic Rio Grande flooding in the 1800s destroyed the church and changed the course of the river, moving its channel from the north side of Socorro to the south. Once the river’s new channel became the official international border, the mission’s Mexican hometown of Socorro became a U.S. community. The mission was rebuilt in 1843 approximately a half mile from its original location with the salvaged vigas, or beams, of the original church, making the ceiling beams of today’s Socorro Mission some of the oldest relics in Texas.
The church continues to serve the Socorro community under the stewardship of the Diocese of El Paso. Within its white-washed adobe walls rests a statue of San Miguel Arcángel, transported from Mexico via oxen wagon in 1838. Destined for Santa Fe, the cart became stuck in the mud at Socorro, leaving the statue for mission parishoners. In 2000, the exterior and interior of the mission were restored to their original appearance. In addition to holding Mass (in Spanish and English) throughout the week, the mission hosts the annual Socorro Mission Festival featuring Matachine dancers, Mariachis, food and craft vendors, and carnival rides for kids.
Watch the video below to learn more about Spanish Settlement of Texas. This video was produced for inclusion in the Hispanic Texans mobile tour, more information about which may be found on our Hispanic heritage page at the following link: http://texastimetravel.com/travel-themes/main-hispanic-heritage