In the early days in Mexico, the Catholic Churches were configured like forts, with high walls surrounding the chapel and residence of the clergy and workers. Remnants of that tradition have remained. As you drive around Puerto Peñasco, you will notice most churches have walls and gates that define and protect the property.

When the Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe decided to activate and grow the little mission church in La Choya, the first order of business was to reroof the building. The second was to begin construction of walls around the property. Block and chain-link walls were built along two of the property lines but the project was never completed.

Now that the church itself is complete and the pastor’s residence has been added, the Diocese has asked that the wall be built all around the church. This will require footings, blockwork and four wrought iron grates.

As soon as the request came from the Diocese, St. Josephs’ sexton Bob Keller started raising funds for the project. He jokingly told those in attendance at Mass that if they made a contribution to the building fund, they could go home and tell their friends that they were helping to build the wall in Mexico.

Last month Keller met with Francisco Curiel, owner of Oniks Construction, to review the plans for the walls and to determine what the cost would be to complete the project. Actual construction can now begin and hopefully be finished by September when visitors start to return in large numbers.

St. Joseph’s offers the only bilingual Mass in Puerto Peñasco with scripture readings, music and the homily being offered in both languages. Mass is at 9 a.m., every Sunday. To reach the chapel, take the paved road past the Sandy Beach Condos and the sand road past Wrecked at the Reef. As you wind toward Choya Bay, the Church is on the right and clearly marked.

For information about services and activities at St. Joseph’s contact sexton Bob Keller by phone or text at 928-706-6928 or by e-mail at:

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St. Josephs’ sexton Bob Keller meets with Oniks Construction owner Francisco Curiel to review the designs and plan for new walls around the Chapel in La Choya.