ST. MARYS (KSNT) – An open house and outdoor consecration ceremony are set to be held at the site of the Immaculata Church in St. Marys next month.

The upcoming ceremony is being held to consecrate five church bells which will be installed in the Immaculata as part of its ongoing construction work. Following the consecration of the bells, attendees will be invited inside the church to get a closer look at the work being done. This is the first time that members of the community and the general public have been allowed inside the church.

The bells were forged in the Paccard Foundry in Annecy, France and will be given their own names during the ceremony. Donors who contributed over $100,000 to the church project will be named as godparents for the bells at a later date and will have the honor of ringing the bells for the first time. More details on each bell can be found below:

  • Maria Immaculata – this will be the main bell of the church.
    • Weighs 7,716 lbs.
    • Located in the north tower
  • Sts. Benedict and Scholastica – the patrons against wicked spirits and against storms.
    • Weighs 4,630 lbs.
    • Located in the south tower
  • St. John the Baptist – will be used for calling people to mass.
    • Weighs 3,308 lbs.
    • Located in the north tower
  • St. Gabriel – will be used for the Angelus
    • Weighs 2,756 lbs.
    • Located in the south tower
  • St. Lazarus – will be used as the death knell
    • Weighs 1,985 lbs.
    • Located in south tower

Following the consecration of the bells, the cornerstone of the Immaculata will be placed at the entrance of the church. It will be marked with the Marian crossed-M symbol which will be found as a theme throughout the church, along with the date of the installation: MMXXII (2022).

The ceremony will be held at the Immaculata Church located at 701 N. 2nd St., St. Marys on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. The outdoor event will last about half an hour on the front west plaza of the Immaculata and is immediately followed by the open house.

The Immaculata Church project got its start on May 31, 2020 with a groundbreaking ceremony. Since then, frequent updates have been released for the ongoing construction work which is expected to cost around $40 million once it is complete. The church is expected to seat around 1,500 people. The completion date for the project has been tentatively set at sometime in March 2023.

The Immaculata Church belongs to The Society of St. Pius in St. Marys. This offshoot of the Catholic Church took ownership of the site in 1968, shortly before the original Immaculata burned down in 1978 during renovation work.

For more information on the event, click here.