You build a house brick by brick, step by step.

One of the final stages in building the apartment for the pastor, Padre Marco Lopez, at St. Joseph’s chapel in La Cholla, was putting up patio covers to protect the two upper decks from sun and rain. Those covers were completed by the builder Julio Valenzuela and his crew.

The covers were done with block columns and wood trusses, sheeted in plywood and covered with the same metal roofing used on the church. The roofing material simulates Spanish tiles and is extremely durable. The two buildings will likely never need to be reroofed.

Furniture, including table and chairs and two chaise lounges, added to the functional living area of the 850-square-foot apartment.

The finishing touch will be adding the decorative bricks around all the windows to match the trim on the church windows. Those bricks have been on backorder for months but are expected to be here and in place before the end of this month.

The next big project will be putting a fence around the entire property with four gates, all large enough to admit cars. The first of the four gates were installed last month in the existing wall on the northeast side of the property. Additional gates will have the same design.

St. Joseph’s offers the only bilingual Catholic Mass in Puerto Peñasco. Mass is at 9 a.m. every Sunday. Additional service will take place during Lent and Holy Week, including praying the Stations of the Cross, every Friday at 4 p.m. The Stations is the prayerful, meditative commemoration of the Via Dolorosa – Christ’s path from sentencing to his crucifixion.

To reach St. Joseph’s, take the paved road past the Sandy Beach condos and the dirt road past Wrecked at the Reef. As you wind your way toward Cholla Bay, the church is on the right and clearly marked. All are welcome.

For information about the chapel and services, contact sexton Bob Keller by e-mail at or by text or phone at 928-706-6928.

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Patio covers created additional, functional living space at the residence at St. Joseph’s.

The first of four gates has been installed on the parking lot at St. Joseph’s Chapel in La Cholla.