The Story of the Bell
The bell tower above the entrance of the church hangs a most unique, pv a foundry in France in the early 1880's.
"Mary Ann" was ordered by Joseph Christian
at a cost of $500.00, and donated to the new church built by Fr. Pandosy at the Mission Site in 1882. There she hung and rang out her message, ‘Come Follow Me to the Father.’ The Casorso family of Kelowna will never forget this.
John Casorso trekked to Okanagan Mission after meeting Fr. Pandosy on one of his travels. John worked at the Mission site finding success in this new land.
After a few years he had made enough money to enable him to send to Italy for his wife Rosa and their children.
Arrangements made, they sailed to San Francisco then on to New Westminster, up the Fraser to Kamloops, and then on to Okanagan Mission.Tired and lonely, Rosa and children arrived at San Francisco and found. Themselves standing on the ship-docks with only a paper in Rosa's hand upon which were written the words 'Father Pandosy, Okanagan Mission.' She had no idea where this place was, or how to get there.
While standing there trying to get information of their next move, a wharf -hand happened to notice a bell in a crate, sitting on the dock. On the crate were written the same words, “Okanagan Mission", the bell's destination. It was the bell that Joseph Christian had ordered. The dockworkers quickly concluded that if Rosa and her little ones followed this bell she would lead them home to John, her husband and the father of their children. For weeks she followed this bell, never allowing it out of her sight. It is said that she refused to go anywhere except where the bell went. In New Westminster, some of the workers even set up a camp for her next to the bell on the river bank, while the days passed until the bells next leg of the journey home.
Finally the bell moved on up the Fraser Valley with Rosa and children right next to her. At Kamloops, the bell, Rosa and the children boarded a stagecoach for the last lap of the eventful trip home. Finally, they arrived at their home, the Father Pandosy Okanagan Mission. Rosa is quoted as saying, "I never took my eyes off that bell for the entire trip-It truly led me home." Yes, it seems that the bell, which now hangs above the entrance of the church, and has hung in our two previous church buildings, is truly a unique bell. It is a bell that rings out the good news of, ‘Come follow me and I will lead you to the Father.’