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Catholic churches across the state will toll bells tonight in memory

St. Stephens Indian Mission Catholic church parishioner got it all started in Wyoming
Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 7:10 PM CST
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FREMONT COUNTY, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

At 6 p.m. tonight, church bells will ring across Wyoming for every 1,000 deaths due to Covid-19 in the United States. Catholic Churches across the cowboy state will be ringing 341 bells this evening to commemorate every thousand lives lost due to the coronavirus in America, and the idea originated at the St. Stephen’s Indian Mission Catholic Church.

Pastor of the St. Stephen’s Indian Mission Catholic Church, Jim Heiser, stated, “In Jackson and Story, Wyoming, in Casper, Riverton, and Lander, we’re all in this together, and tonight we’re going to pray. We’re going to honor, and we’re going to show our solidarity with the human race, and especially here in Wyoming.”

The National Cathedral in Washington D.C. decided to toll their bells on December 15th in memory of those 300,000 in the United States who had passed away up to that point, and that sparked inspiration for a Fremont County resident. “They rang their bells 300 times, so one of our parishioners found that story, saw that story online I suppose, and it interested him, and he said let’s do that story here at St. Stephens,” added Heiser.

The information was sent from St. Stephens Catholic Church to the Diocese of Cheyenne, and was then distributed all over the state. According to Pastor Heiser, 20 Arapahoe and five Shoshone people from the Wind River Indian Reservation have passed away this year from the virus.

“We’ll also probably have 25 drum beats, depending on how the drum group wants to do this, in memory of the 25 Native American people on the Wind River Reservation who have died of Covid,” stated Heiser.

The service is tonight at 6 p.m. outside St. Stephens Indian Mission Catholic Church, and attendees are encouraged to park their vehicles in the large parking lot, roll down their windows, and listen to the bells and drums in remembrance.

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