The Ysleta Mission, founded in 1682, was built by the Tigua Indians and is located west of Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo within the municipality of El Paso, Texas. The Ysleta Mission is recognized as the oldest continuously operated parish in the State of Texas. The Ysleta community is also recognized as the oldest in Texas and claims to have the oldest continuously cultivated plot of land in the United States.
The Tigua Indians have always been faithful to San Antonio (Saint Anthony), the original patron saint of Isleta Pueblo (the mother pueblo situated near modern-day Albuquerque). The mission has had many names through the centuries, but the Tigua have always recognized San Antonio. During the Spanish period, Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo was also known as Corpus Christi de los Tihuas (original name given by the Spaniards), Sacramento de la Ysleta and San Antonio de la Ysleta. The present-day mission is dedicated to Our lady of Mount Carmel, but the Tigua still honor San Antonio, who occupies an exterior niche above the mission’s entrance.
Today, the Tigua people continue to be closely associated with the church and observe traditional holidays at the Mission with dancing, drumming and chanting. The Tigua feast day of San Antonio is observed on June 13, with a morning mass followed by traditional dancing.