(St. Stephens, WY) – The following announcement has been made from the “Hearts of a Grateful Group of Parishioners at Saint Stephens Indian Mission.”
On New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31st, at 6 PM, some Catholic Churches across Wyoming will ring their bells in remembrance of lives lost during the pandemic. The bells will ring over 300 times to represent the more than 300 lives lost across the state, and the more than 300 thousand across the Nation.
At Saint Stephens Indian Mission, where a group of parishioners initiated the idea, a Native American drum group will play in conjunction with the bell ringing to remember lives lost across the Wind River Reservation.
The bells also ring as a symbol of our unified commitment to honor those lives lost through our resolution to continue to practice social distancing and personal safety methods that will lead to the eradication of the virus.
To those grieving the loss of friends, family members, and loved ones, the bells carry the message of solidarity, that we all grieve together. The bells symbolize prayers of health and healing to those currently battling the virus at home or in hospitals. Our gratitude and thankfulness is carried through the sound of the bells to those on the frontline, from medical professionals, law enforcement personnel, grocery store workers, mail carriers, educators, and everyone else who places the needs of others before their own during these trying times.
To those feeling lonely, isolated, homeless, depressed, or those suffering from mental illness and addiction, may the sound of the bells bring you hope, serenity and empathy from all of us.
In short, although this virus has caused us to have to be socially and physically distant from one another, the bell ringing represents that we have never been closer in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. We invite all other churches, denominations, and institutions to participate, and we encourage all individuals to take a moment to reflect, meditate, or pray in your own way when you hear the sound of the bells.
-From the Hearts of a Grateful Group of Parishioners at Saint Stephens Indian Mission