As I write this article, it has been eight weeks since we gathered for our bilingual Mass at St. Joseph’s in La Cholla. Hopefully, by the time this publishes, we will once again, be celebrating there.

When the decision was made, nearly seven years ago, to start having Mass every Sunday at the San José/St. Joseph’s chapel in La Cholla, the first thing the pastor did was to send out a work crew to put new roofing on the building, which had been vacant and unfinished for more than 20 years.

Over the last seven years, great progress has been made inside and out to turn the building into a comfortable and beautiful house of worship, thanks to the generosity of locals and visitors who have contributed to the building fund.

“As with all buildings, time and weather take a toll and we are back a square-one, needing new roofing,” said St. Joseph’s sexton Bob Keller. Knowing that the tarpaper roofing materials lasted less than seven years, Keller has been researching a more durable material.

“We would love to roof the church with traditional Mexican tiles, like we used on the narthex, but the trusses will not bear the weight, so we have to choose something else.

“At the local lumber yard, we found a metal roofing material that has a faux Spanish tile look,” Keller said. “It’s going to take a little more fund raising to make the investment, but it could well be the last time we will have to tend to the roof.”

With the monsoon season just around the corner, Keller is hoping to have the metal shingles purchased and the work done by early July.

“If any of our friends and visitors want to help us ‘raise the roof,’ we would be extremely grateful for the financial support,” Keller said.

You can contact Keller by e-mail at, by mail at Box 297, Lukeville, AZ 85341, or by phone at 928-706-6928.

After seven years and a couple of patches, the roof is due for a new approach.