Construction began Sept. 1 on the new wall around St. Joseph’s Mission Church in La Choya where bilingual Mass is offered every Sunday at 9 a.m. It will be completed in phases as funds are available, with the decorative iron gates being the final touch.

As was mentioned in a previous article, the original churches in Mexico were configured much like forts, with walls surrounding the church and residences for staff and workers. That tradition of encompassing the property has continued with walls around nearly every church in Mexico.

Construction of the church in Choya was started in 1993 but the cinder block shell stood vacant for more than 20 years. Then in 2014 Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish began bringing altar servers and a priest to Choya every Sunday for Mass. Over the next nine years, funds were raised and the church was completed, inside and out, and an apartment for the pastor was added in 2022.

Being the only bilingual service in Puerto Peñasco, the little chapel often enjoys large attendance from visitors to the Sandy Beach Resorts and throughout Puerto Peñasco. All readings and music are presented in both English and Spanish, the sermon is translated and the prayers within the Mass alternate languages.

To reach St. Joseph’s Catholic Chapel, take the paved road past the Sandy Beach Resorts and the dirt road past Wrecked at the Reef. As the road winds toward Cholla Bay, the church is on the right and well-marked.

For information about St. Joseph’s, contact the sexton, Bob Keller, at 928-706-6928 or e-mail

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Cutline: Foundations are set and ready for the decorative bricks to be laid on the new wall at St. Joseph’s Chapel in La Choya.

Blessing of Animals set for Oct. 8

A special event at St. Joseph’s Chapel in La Choya is the Blessing of the Animals, in honor of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Everyone is invited to bring their pet for a special blessing, in the church or the parking lot, on Oct. 8 at 10 a.m., following the Mass. All animals should be on a leash or in a kennel. The west side of the chapel is well shaded for those who want to attend Mass and leave their pet in the car until the blessing.