Visitors Grace St. Joseph’s with New Doors and Pews

Mar 5, 2021 by Cholla Charli

What do people like to do when they go on vacation? Surveys will tell you that the number-one activity is shopping; but a group of men from Cody, Wyoming and Salt Lake City, Utah like to give instead of get.

Two years ago Tom Lillie, Don Kramer, Dale Englund and Ken Stockwell, along with their wives, spent a number of weeks in their RVs on the beach in Rocky Point. After attending Mass at St. Joseph’s church in La Cholla, Ken Stockwell asked the church sexton, Bob Keller if there was anything the men could do to be of service to the church. He explained they were all handy with tools, so Keller suggested they build a couple of pews.

The men ended up building four pews, expanding the seating capacity by one-third.

When February rolled around this year, the group returned to Rocky Point. This time Dale couldn’t make it, but Ken’s brother Jerry joined the crew. They called ahead to see how they could help the church. Keller explained that St. Joseph’s needed interior doors to reduce the dust and especially the noise from the roadway.

They were planning to build the doors, but Lillie’s daughter Jolene had a connection that proved to be God-sent. She works for Epic Window and Doors which had a set of Windsor Windows French doors that would be a great fit for the doorway in the church.

The company offered a significant discount because the doors would be going to a mission church in Mexico. Lillie purchased the doors and he and his crew brought them down in their toy haulers. They went straight to the church, unloaded the doors and in a matter of hours the doors were framed in and functioning beautifully.

They left equal distance on each side which will soon be filled in with wood panels or glass blocks, or perhaps, stained glass. But their service didn’t end there. With more time left in their stay, they asked Keller if there was something more, they could do to help.

“I told them we could use a couple more pews and they were ready to build,” Keller said. “I picked up the lumber and in two days, they had constructed another four pews. We are now at capacity in the church. After the Covid restrictions are lifted it will be beautiful to see all those seats filled to capacity.”

St. Joseph’s church in La Cholla offers the only bilingual Mass in Puerto Peñasco. Service is at 8 a.m., each Sunday. To reach the church, take the road past the Sandy Beach resorts and the sand road past Wrecked at the Reef. As you wind toward Cholla Bay, the church is on the right and well-marked.

Those who would like more information about the church, you can call sexton Bob Keller at (928) 706-6928 or e-mail him at: bob@keller.net.

New interior doors at St. Joseph’s church will help to reduce noise and dust from the street.

Volunteers from Wyoming and Utah returned this year to build four more pews for St. Joseph’s church and to donate and install new interior doors. (L-R) St. Joseph’s sexton Bob Keller, Jerry Stockwell, Tom Lillie (standing) Ken Stockwell and Don Kramer.

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