San José/St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in La Cholla is now the home for a big and beautiful statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, thanks to Casey Luna.

Years ago, as he departed New Mexico for a trip to Rocky Point, Casey’s mother, Ruben “Ruby” Armenta Luna, asked him to bring her a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

During the visit, he casually shopped for a statue but had not found what he wanted; but that didn’t stop him.

“I have a friend who has a shop on Rodeo Drive,” Casey explained. “He talked to an ironwood worker about carving the statue, but we had only three days before we had to return to the states.”

He had three days and three nights, and in that time, he carved a 3-foot statue from raw wood, with the most intricate details, including the stars that grace Our Lady’s garment. “I took the statue to my mother and she was thrilled,” Casey said with a smile.

It had an honored place in Ruby’s home, then four years ago she passed on at age 102. Casey and his wife Beverly, decided to donate the statue to the San José /St. Joseph’s church in memory of Ruby.

“We have been truly blessed with some beautiful gifts for our little chapel,” said Bob Keller, sexton for the church. “This one is especially significant because our chapel is under the umbrella of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in town.”

The chapel has gone from an abandoned cinder block structure with no doors or windows in 2013, to a fully furnished house of worship with heating and air, new windows and the addition of a Sacristy and Narthex.

Keller said the gifts are a great blessing, but the next essential for the chapel is a new roof. “Visitors and locals have been extremely generous in their contributions to our building fund,” Keller said. “Without them, none of this would have been possible.

“The fund for the new roof is growing and we are confident that we’ll have it completed this year before the monsoon season,” Keller added.

San José/St. Joseph’s, which is on the road to La Cholla by Cholla Bay, offers the only bilingual Mass in the Puerto Peñasco area. Mass is at 8 a.m. every Sunday. All are welcome to come and hear the hymns and scripture in English and Spanish.

For information about services, sacraments and activities at the church, contact Bob Keller at (928) 706-6928 or by e-mail at: