Great progress has been made on the new rectory being constructed behind St. Joseph’s church in La Cholla.

At deadline for the Times, the septic system was constructed, first floor walls were up, the stairs to the second level were poured and the concrete ceiling for the first story and floor for the second level were being poured.

Sexton Bob Keller said, “Because of the rising price of building materials, we decided to build as funds came in, rather than wait until all the money was raised for the project. If you look around Peñasco, you’ll notice that most construction is done that way; but often the money runs out and the shells stand abandoned.”

Keller reported that donations are coming in from St. Joseph’s visitors and the community, and the Holy Family parish, where Pastor Marco Lopez also serves, has contributed as well.

As was mentioned in a recent article, an anonymous benefactor agreed to match the first $10,000 raised. “We’re very, very, very close to reaching that number,” Keller said. “When we reach that last little bit of the $10,000, the additional $10,000 pledged will allow us to finish the shell of the building – the walls, ceilings, plumbing and electric. We will then need about another $20,000 to finish the whole project.”

The construction costs have been offset by donations of labor and materials.

With both churches pitching in, there is confidence the project will be completed, the only question is how long it will take. In the meantime, Father Marco must continue to rent an apartment, which draws funds away from the charitable works of the Parish, including the shelter for migrants, which he oversees.

“We are appealing to anyone who can help, to please support us, even if it is in small donations,” Keller said, “and we also ask for your prayers for our success.”

Tax-deductible donations can be made by checks payable to St. Joseph’s Mission Church and mailed to sexton Bob Keller, P.O. Box 297, Lukeville, AZ 85341-0297. For more information, e-mail Keller at: or phone or text him at 928-706-6928.


The apartment for Pastor Marco Lopez behind St. Francis Catholic Church in La Cholla is being constructed in phases as funds are donated. Ground floor is just 15 feet by 37 feet. A second level is planned when money is available.