LEFT: Most Reverend Sidney Metzger, the 1982 Lumen Christi Award recipient.
RIGHT: Archbishop William O’Brien, then president of Catholic Extension, is pictured with Bishop Metzger at the dedication of San Isidore Church in Dell City, Texas. The church was funded by Catholic Extension.
From Wilderness to Predominantly Catholic
"Priest and pastor, scholar, champion of the underprivileged, and friend to all he encountered,” is how Extension magazine described Most Reverend Sidney Metzger, Retired Bishop of El Paso, when he received Catholic Extension’s Lumen Christi Award in 1982.
As Bishop of El Paso, he was known as a community leader and “man of the people.” He was an outspoken advocate for the rights of immigrants and the poor, and a strong supporter of labor rights. He also was recognized for his evangelization efforts in Texas. From 1942 to 1978, under his leadership, the Diocese of El Paso grew from 100,000 Catholics to more than 250,000. He turned what was once a wilderness for missionaries into a predominantly Catholic area with rich Church traditions and institutions. .
Postscript: Most Reverend Sidney Metzger died in 1986