On Saturday, May 16th starting at 8:30 a.m., the festivities begin for the public to celebrate Father Haroldo J. Rahm’s service to Sacred Heart Church. Now, 95, Father Rahm has dedicated his life in service to his faith and to serving others. Following a welcome home dinner for the Father on Thursday, May 14th, Saturday will have a Bicycle Parade, a Mural Unveiling and Blessing followed by the celebration at Sacred Heart Church in El Segundo Barrio.
Pastor Ronald Gonzales of Sacred Heart was kind enough to speak with us at the INSIDER about the award and what this celebration hopes to accomplish. ”There are those who grew up in the Segundo Barrio, who are quite familiar with the work and the impact of the Jesuits here at Sacred Heart Church,” adding ”There are others, who do not visit the Segundo Barrio, and have no idea that this is only 1 of 2 Jesuit run parishes in Texas. So our hope is to introduce our parish, its history, its people, and culture to a new generation of El Pasoans to experience and appreciate.”
The Person of the Year recipient Father Rahm served as assistant pastor at Sacred Heart Church for 12 years, from 1952 to 1964 but his impact has been lasting. “Father Rahm was known best as the ‘Bicycle Priest,’ because when he arrived in 1952 he discovered squalor, hopelessness, gangs, and people in great need of services. He purchased a bicycle in order to see more people during the day,” said Pastor Gonzales.
The Pastor shared an excerpt of Father Rahm’s writings:
I could come in contact with 100 people daily, on a bicycle I could see 500. – Father Rahm
Father Rahm is the first to receive this award, and it sets a high precedent. Pastor Gonzales is still meeting those that remember his efforts and were inspired by them to this day.
This is Pastor Gonzales’ second assignment at Sacred Heart Church, first serving as assistant pastor from 2005-2007. “In many ways, (El Segundo Barrio] has not changed much over the years, but I have noticed a few new buildings and housing that has come up since I was last here. Some of the blight has been knocked down.
The pastor has observed some of the revitalization efforts happening in the area. “The Mercado is now built where there was a flea market on the corner of Paisano and Oregon. Things move very slowly here in this part of El Paso, however, we hope to capture the spirit of its history, culture and people. Perhaps, the greater El Paso community might come to appreciate and contribute to part of their forgotten history as well.”
For more information about Sacred Heart Church or the Segundo Barrio Person of the Year Award call: 915-532-5447 or visit www.sacredheartelpaso.org