The bell tower at St. Mary’s Assumption Church is a symbol of faith and community for the Irish Channel. In recent years, the tower’s been badly damaged due to the weather. It’s now in need of major renovations.
Father Richard Thibodeau of St. Mary’s Assumption hopes his prayers for the bell tower will be answered.
“We have two gigantic bells that have been silenced for many years. The four-sided clock hasn’t worked for many years. There was once a wooden cross that welcomed visitors from near and far. About three years ago the cross was struck by lightning. We want to restore the tower to it’s former beauty,” he said.
There’s a campaign called, “Don’t let the tower tumble” to raise the necessary funds to repair the bell tower. So far they’ve raised half a million dollars. All repairs will cost nearly one million dollars.
“We’re well on our way. We still have a long way to go,” Fr. Richard said.
The Irish Channel community doesn’t want to see their tower tumble. For Jeff and Kaitlyn Delatte the church holds a special meaning.
“We were married here. My grandfather was married at the church, St. Alphonsus across the street. St. Mary’s has always been a beautiful church. It’s always been a symbol of faith and belonging to see the clock tower,” Jeff Delatte said.
“We love walking through our neighborhood and seeing the bell tower. It just gives a sense of community,” Kaitlyn Delatte said.
This tower is a blessing to the neighborhood, something which Father Richard hopes will continue to stand high in the sky for future generations.
“New Orleans has many wonderful buildings with character. I’d like to think our building, our tower says more than just a typical older building. It speaks to people’s dreams and faith,” Father Richard said.
This tower and St. Mary’s Assumption Church was dedicated as an historic site in New Orleans in 1971 by the Orleans Parish Landmark Commission. The structure was placed on the National Register as a National Historic Landmark in 1974. The church was built in 1858.
If you’d like to help, please call 504-522-6748 or e-mail stalphonsusneworleans.com