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Saint Joseph Catholic Church rebuilds, holds first Easter mass

Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-17 21:00:14-04

PHOENIX — Today one Phoenix church opened their doors for the first Easter mass in their new home.

Saint Joseph Catholic Church lost their building in a fire back in May 2019.

Ever since, they have been working to rebuild.

“A lot of people said that’s the end of Saint Joseph,” said Father Reggie Carreon. “Saint Joseph will close.”

But on a day that is all about resurrection, the congregation came together for a new beginning.

“This is beautiful,” said parishioner Charles Boll. “You can look around at the church and you can see the love.”

Boll has been coming to Saint Joseph with his family for two decades. Like many, he remembers May 1, 2019.

“There was nothing left but smoldering, you know, smoldering wood,” described Boll.

The night the church burned, parishioners and church leaders stopped by to see what was once their place of worship.

ABC15 was told by church administration that the fire was accidental and happened just after they had done interior improvements.

“It was just heartbreaking, just heartbreaking,” said Boll.

The next two and half years were spent adjusting to the pandemic and holding mass in a much smaller space.

“We started construction in August of 2019 and we finished for the most part in December of 2021,” said John Prosek.

Prosek helps with the church’s finances and liturgy, so he knows the challenges the church faced when rebuilding.

He said they were able to finally have their first mass back in December, but some people still haven’t been back.

Now Prosek is rejoicing, thrilled to welcome people back for Easter Sunday.

He agrees this fire reminded their community of an important lesson.

“It’s a community of people, and not the physical facility,” said Prosek. “The facility helps because it brings people together, but it’s the people coming together praising God that’s the big item.”

Church leaders said on May 1, they will be marking three years since the fire with a special mass and meal for the congregation to celebrate their new building.