St Joseph Church Fresco Restoration & Fire Relief

Campaign Created by: Naomi Arreguin

The funds from this campaign will be received by St Joseph Church.

Goal: USD $100,000
Raised: USD $ 28,429

On the morning of Thursday, August 31, 2023, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Salem, Oregon suffered serious fire damage as a result of an arson attack. (Link to local newspaper article)

Extensive structural damage to the roof over the sanctuary was sustained, which resulted in fire, smoke, and water damage to the fresco (dedicated in 2017) that adorned the front sanctuary wall.

Funds raised from this campaign will go to St. Joseph Church for the restoration of this fresco.


Update #3
October 14, 2023
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Greeting everyone,

Sharing some good news and progress with our situation at St. Joseph. We are officially worshiping in the gym! We currently have capacity for 300 and are hoping to increase that capacity soon. Also, the School Cafeteria is open and in use for the school! Right in time for the rainy season. As for the church building the wooden altar is removed. It was burned too badly for repair so it will be replaced by a new altar when the time comes. The Finance Council is coordinating with the construction company for special projects regarding the organ, the pews, the stained glass windows and the fresco. Essentially everything is moving forward. Thank you for your patience and understanding. On a personal note, I had planned on going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land but was instructed to not board a plane the hour before I planned on going to the airport. I changed plans to go on a retreat for next week instead. Let’s continue forward with the mission of Our Lord Jesus.

Fr. Jeff Meeuwsen

Update #2
September 20, 2023
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A quick update on the church cleaning process:

The damaged roof of the church has had a temporary covering installed, and all of the pews have been removed from the inside. About 75% of the debris in the sanctuary has been cleared.

With the pews being removed, the focus will turn to the debris for salvageable items and content tracking.

An HVAC cleaning has been scheduled beginning on September 26th and ending on October 6th.

Scaffolding is in the process of being scheduled for installation in the church so necessary cleanup and work can continue.


Thank you all for your contributions to this campaign and for your continued prayers during this process.

Update #1
September 6, 2023
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Thank you everyone for your support during this difficult time. The fire is out and we are taking next steps to continue clean up and repairs. Your prayers have been most helpful. - Father Jeff Meeuwsen


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