Saint Mary's Catholic Church on the Rocky Boy's Reservation was destroyed by fire in December 2019. Now the community is ready to begin rebuilding.
A ground-breaking ceremony will be held on June 20. Mass will be conducted at 11:30 a.m., followed by the ground-breaking.
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Father Joseph Tran, the Pastor at St. Mary’s says the new building will cost almost $2.5 million.
“At first, we expected the price not to be that high. But since Covid, everything rose, just jumped," Father Tran said.
He says community support has been outstanding from both a faith and financial perspective.
After the fire, mass was initially held at the Lutheran Church in town, but when COVID-19 came along, for safety purposes, they opted to hold mass in the much smaller church rectory.
“We have a lot of parishioners up in Rocky Boy. But since COVID, a lot of people don’t come to mass," Father Tran stated. "And the maximum the rectory can hold is 22 people, so a few of them have to sit in the parking lot.”
If all goes well, construction will be complete in a year.
The church will hold a formal groundbreaking Sunday at the site of the new church, following the celebration of a Mass by Bishop Michael Warfel at 11:30.