St. John Paul II Parish Initial Plans

May all our efforts be for the greater glory of God and for the salvation of souls! Bishop Oscar CantĂș, in consultation with the Presbyteral Council and others, decided to establish a new parish under the heavenly patronage of St. John Paul II. He appointed Fr. Enrique-Lopez pastor effective on July 1, 2014. He undertook this new pastoral assignment with gratitude.

Brief History

For the last several years local parishioners with the assistance and encouragement of priests assigned to San Martin de Porres parish in Sunland Park have desired and worked for the establishment of a new parish in the Santa Teresa area. Santa Teresa has experienced tremendous growth and all demographic indicators show that it will continue to grow. At different times parishioners had gathered for the celebration of holy Mass on Sundays and have engaged in various forms of fundraising. These efforts resulted in the accruement of a fund held in the diocesan PIP account for the amount of $150,000.00. Parish and Finance Councils were established. The fact that the diocesan bishop has established a parish has provided for the pastoral care of souls and the administration of temporal goods, through the appointment of a pastor, is a clear sign of the commitment and support for this new parish.


The long-term vision is to establish a parish with full services in the Santa Teresa area. The boundary of the parish is specified in the canonical Decree of Erection. The plan is to procure a 20-acre site that will include the following structures: parish church, parish hall, rectory, and parish school. These various buildings represent stages in the development of the parish with priority given to the building of the parish church.

Our Priest

Our Parish Administrator, Fr. Francisco M. Tovar, was born on August 18, 1969 in Murcia, Spain. He entered the seminary formation in Strasbourg, France in 1995, attending Marc Bloch University. After finishing his DEUG in History of the Church, he was transferred to the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. in 2004, where he finished his studies at the Catholic University of America and was ordained in May 27, 2006.

Fr. Francisco was first appointed parochial vicar at St. Martin of Tours in Gaithersburg; then parochial vicar in St. John the Evangelist in Clinton. He was first appointed pastor at St. Bernardine of Siena in Suitland; then pastor at Our Lady of Sorrows in Takoma Park, and pastor at St. John Vianney in Prince Frederick before being sent to St. John Paul II, in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.