Catholic church on Montana reservation destroyed by fire

Catholic church on Montana reservation destroyed by fire

Firefighters battle a blaze in an undated photo. (Credit: Pixabay.)

A fire destroyed St. Mary's Catholic Church on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation in north-central Montana over the weekend.

GREAT FALLS, Montana— A fire destroyed St. Mary’s Catholic Church on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation in north-central Montana over the weekend.

Nobody was hurt in the fire, which occurred Saturday morning.

“I don’t know what happened,” Father Joseph Tran told the Great Falls Tribune on Sunday, noting he had no idea what sparked the blaze.

Sister Margaret O’Doherty told KFBB-TV that she noticed the smoke and knew something was wrong.

“I opened the door and the smoke just hit me. It was all black,” O’Doherty said.

Tim Little Voice, a maintenance worker for the church, said the flames moved fast.

“It was burning from the top,” Little Voice said.

The church was planning to decorate the tree and the church Sunday in preparation for the Christmas pageant Tuesday.

“Pray for us, just pray for us. We’ll be fine. God is in charge, that’s what I keep telling the kids. God is in charge so, we’ll be fine,” O’Doherty said.

The church was built in 1979. St. Mary’s Parish serves the Rocky Boy reservation, except for Box Elder where St. Anthony’s Church is located.

On any given Sunday about 30 to 40 people attend, coming from across the reservation and from as far away as Havre, Tran said.


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