The restored bell tower at St. Mary’s Assumption Church will be dedicated at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, March 1, after 10:30 a.m. Mass at 2030 Constance St., New Orleans.
After Archbishop Gregory Aymond blesses the tower, there will be a light reception.
The 120-foot tower was built in the 1860s but was damaged by hurricanes Betsy and Katrina, then by termites and water. The church holds the remains of the Rev. Francis Xavier Seelos, who died of yellow fever in 1867 while ministering to the Irish Channel immigrant population in New Orleans.
Renovating the tower took two years and cost nearly $1 million. The work included remounting the church’s two original bells, Pius and Gabriel, which will sound during the dedication ceremony. Also, the bell choir at St. Michael Special School will play “The Bells of St. Mary’s,” and all in attendance will ring small bells in unison.