Last month, Phase I was completed in the construction of the residence for Padre Marco Lopez, pastor of Holy Family Parish and St. Joseph’s Mission Church in La Cholla.

The final steps in the first phase were installation of the electric breaker box, running wiring to all outlets, pouring the floor, sealing the roof, and replacing the church’s metal roof panels that had to be removed to connect the two buildings together.

Sexton Bob Keller said, “The Diocese of Mexicali can provide only minimal funding for this new residence, so we depend on local donations and building in phases as the funds are donated. It took approximately four months to complete the structure. We think that’s good progress with the small crew we were able to afford.

“We have raised enough money to start on Phase II, but it will take three times what we have to complete the residence for Padre Marco,” Keller added.

The second phase will include the installation of doors and windows, flooring, plumbing fixtures, cabinetry, HVAC units and furniture.

“We have already had donations of some furniture and furnishings from people who are remodeling and have gently used items with years of service left,” Keller said. “We are hoping that someone is about to remodel a kitchen and could donate serviceable appliances for Father.”

Until 2013, the building which is now St. Joseph’s church stood abandoned as a cinder block shell. That year, in November, the pastor designated that Mass would be held every Sunday. Because of the strong participation by non-nationals who live in Rocky Point or visit regularly, all services are bilingual – the only bilingual Mass offered in the area.

“Over the years, the church has grown to be a lovely house of worship with approximately 50 regular attendees, primarily Gringos,” Keller said. “Their generosity has made the completion of the church possible and is now making the residence for Pastor Lopez a reality.”

Mass is said at 8:30 each Sunday. To reach St. Joseph’s, take the road past the Sandy Beach Resorts and the dirt road past Wrecked at the Reef. As you wind toward Cholla Bay, the church is on the right and clearly marked.

If you would like more information about services, or if you would like to contribute to the building, contact Keller by e-mail at, by phone at 928-706-6928 or by mail at P.O. Box 297, Lukeville, AZ 85341.

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With the shell complete, Phase II in building the pastor’s residence begins. Move-in goal is before Easter, April 17 of this year.