When the Spirit moves you

Semana Santa (Holy Week), which begins on Palm Sunday, April 10, brings thousands of visitors to Rocky Point, the majority of them from within Mexico. You will see license plates from Baja Sur, Baja California, Chihuahua, and beyond.

They come to be immersed in the sea, but don’t picture mass baptisms. There’s a very different kind of spirit afoot across most of Rocky Point.

However, the Holy Spirit is definitely present at St. Joseph’s Mission Church in La Cholla and it is largely due to the very special relationship that Pastor Marco Lopez has with God in the person of the Holy SpiritHoly.

Padre Marco says that it was the Holy Spirit, during a charismatic retreat, who called him to the priesthood and who has been his guide and inspiration for his eight years as a priest.

With this inspiration, he calls on the Holy Spirit in song and chant at the end of his homily and at the end of Mass. Before the recessional, he asks everyone to sit and receive a special blessing while the congregation chants, “Come Holy Spirit and fill us.”

Padre Marco recognizes that the majority of those attending Mass at St. Joseph’s are visitors and, therefore, travelers; but he tells them that if they come to Mass at St. Joseph’s year-round, once a year, or on vacation visits, they are part of the St. Joseph’s community of the faithful. Then he sends them on their way, with a special blessing for travelers.

In North America, there are only a few charismatic Catholic services these days. Charismatic is defined as “exercising a compelling charm which inspires devotion in others.” Though the Mass at St. Joseph’s is subdued compared with some in charismatic communities of the U.S., the spirit at St. Joseph’s definitely inspires.

That inspiration brings more and more visitors to the little church in La Cholla each week. Sexton Bob Keller said, “With Holy Week/Semana Santa, falling this month, and many visitors coming to Rocky Point, we want to emphasize that all are welcome and all are blessed.”

Throughout Lent, the congregants will commemorate the Stations of the Cross each Friday at 4 p.m., and bilingual Easter Sunday Mass will be at 8:30 a.m., as usual.

To reach the church, take the paved road past the Sandy Beach Resorts and the dirt road past Wrecked at the Reef. As you wind you way toward Cholla Bay, the church is on your right and clearly marked.

If you have any questions about services or sacraments at the church, contact sexton Bob Keller at 928-230-5844, by e-mail at bob@keller.net, or by mail at P.O. Box 297, Lukeville, AZ 85341.

# # #


Padre Marco moves among the attendees, giving everyone the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Bilingual Easter Sunday Mass will be at 8:30 a.m. on April 17.