Despite frigid temperatures hovering near 10 degrees and two feet of snow on the ground, more than 700 people from Blanding, Monticello and surrounding communities in Southeastern Utah attended an open house that showcased the new St. Joseph Catholic Church in Monticello on January 11.
Construction of the new church and parish hall began in July, 2014 and was completed in mid-August, 2015. Mass has been celebrated in the facility for the past four months. The tentative date for the dedication is set for the end of August, 2016, but this will be dependent upon the appointment of a new bishop to the Diocese.
The old St. Joseph Catholic Church and parish hall that served the community for 80 years were demolished in September.
Most attending the open house were local members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Announcements were made in the LDS wards in Blanding and Monticello inviting members to visit the new church for the open house.
Also in attendance were local civic and political leaders who had been supportive of the project throughout the construction process.
A self-guided tour sheet explained the different parts of the church and parishioners served as guides to explain in more detail the rituals of the Catholic Church.
Refreshments were served in the parish hall after the tour.
The new St. Joseph Catholic Church and parish hall were built by Allen and Kathleen Lund from Los Angeles, CA, who also have a large ranch between Blanding and Monticello.
Parishioners donated the money for the interior furnishings of the church and the Diocese purchased the land and pews.
St. Joseph Catholic Church is located on south Main Street in Monticello and is open every Sunday for Mass at noon.