Tonawanda News

The Town

October 19, 2012

Ascension bell will be rededicated at new Tonawanda home, 100 years after first dedication


Those who were involved with Ascension Parish say that it does.

“I think it’s a wonderful part of the heritage of North Tonawanda that will be living on in a certain way,” said Sister Joanne Suranni, a member of the Felician Sisters whose ministry is at St. Jude Parish. “There’s been a lot of letting go in terms of the merging and closing of parishes.

“Bells call people to prayer. This bell will still call people to prayer, just in a different way. That’s the purpose of a bell in church, to stop and call people to God. I think it’s a beautiful way that this heritage will live on.”

Suranni said she worshipped many times at Ascension Parish, and taught at the school until it closed.

“I think it’s a very healing thing for the parishioners and church,” she said. “There’s a feeling that everything is not gone, that there is a piece of our heritage that is still a part of us, something that we didn’t need to let go forever. I think that’s comforting for people.”

Steve Ash, a member of Ascension Parish since 1973, spoke fondly of the “wonderful, close-knit, active” parish and memories of the bell.

“It’s going to be wonderful, it’s going to bring pride and joy and satisfaction, not only to the former parishioners of Ascension church, but the whole Western New York community. That a bell that old ... will be ringing again,” he said. “It’s going to be a little Ascension Parish community anchored by the bell. That will be the focal point of that little section of Mount Olivet. It’s going to be a sense of pride for those people who were affiliated with Ascension Parish.

“They will be very proud to see this bell not only be an integral part of Mount Olivet Cemetery, but being used ... not just mothballed, but used.”

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The Town