There is great hope that Mass will resume again soon at San José/St. Joseph’s church in La Cholla where bilingual Mass had been offered every Sunday before the requirement of Covid19 social distancing. Although services were suspended due to the virus, work to build the church has continued.
In February, the new windows, which have been a great blessing, saw installation of window shades, donated by Steve and Julie Blair, owners of Blind Brothers Arizona in Prescott. In April, decorative brick trim was installed on the exterior of the church around the windows.
“Our next big project will be to re-roof the building,” said Bob Keller, sexton at St. Joseph’s. “We have received numerous individual donations for that project and now have almost enough money for the materials. Once we are back to having services, we hope to see donations for the labor to install the tiles.”
The roof at St. Joseph’s was not designed to support the weight of traditional Mexican clay tiles, so an alternative is being explored.
“There are several types of faux Spanish roof tiles made from fiberglass,” Keller explained. “We have found a local source and will start the project as soon as possible.”
The asphalt roof has suffered wind, sun and rain damage and the sheets are lifting and deteriorating in several areas on the south side. The new fiberglass panels will be placed right over the asphalt materials, creating an extra barrier to the elements and enhancing the look of the building.
“We think the faux Spanish tiles will give the church a traditional ‘mission’ look;” Keller said, “but most important, the fiberglass tiles will withstand the weather much longer. We are only a couple thousand dollars away from making that a reality.”
The shell of the San José building was constructed in the early 1990s but left abandoned for more than 20 years. In November of 2013 the first Mass was held there, with people being asked to bring their own chairs.
For nearly seven years, Keller has worked with the support of the pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, skilled local workers and the generosity of numerous visitors and residents, to turn that vacant structure into a beautiful house of worship.
Although the Covid19 crisis has caused services to be suspended, they will resume soon and people of all denominations are welcome. To reach the church, take the road past the Sandy Beach condos and the sand road past Wrecked at the Reef. As you wind into La Cholla, the church is on your right and clearly marked.
For information about Mass or arranging for special services at St. Joseph’s, contact Keller at 928-706-6928 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve and David Blair, of Blind Brothers Arizona, install new blinds at San José/St. Joseph’s Church.
Decorative brick trim now defines the new windows at St. Joseph’s. The next project will be to install new fiberglass panels over the deteriorating asphalt roofing.