Priest Called To Court For Ringing Church Bells

Father Roy has been with Our Lady of Guadalupe for 20 years

Father Roy Snipes has spent 20 years at Our Lady Of Guadalupe in Mission.

The well-known priest loves animals just as much as the people in his community and he also enjoys the sounds coming from the old steeple every day.

"We've been ringing bells for 115 years here."

And while Father Roy prepares to open up the newly renovated church which will include the bells being heard even further across the city of Mission, he's encountered a problem.

"One of my fine neighbors has complained a couple of times to me that he didn't like the bells."

Father Roy doesn't know the man's name or exactly where he lives but said he wants the church to stop ringing the bells altogether.

"We tried a little bit and that only egged him on to try to intimidate me." Now the priest must go to municipal court since he's accused of being a public nuisance.

"The first Oblates came here in 1849, we've never been a public nuisance, maybe we have, now I am."

Father Roy said the bells ring every hour during the day but stop at 10 p.m.

He said he gets more complaints when the bells aren't ringing.

"In a way it's God blowing us kisses. Most people love to hear the bells."

Several people contacted Action 4 News about the scheduled court appearance that caught Father Roy by surprise and they plan to rally behind him.

The priest who regularly prays for peace is hoping it doesn't come down to that.

"Heaven forbid it won't go that far. I hope they just drop it that remains to be seen, we sure won't stop ringing the bells I can tell you that."

According to the court report, Father Roy's offense includes prohibited noises/loud music, horns or yelling all of which he said has nothing to do with church hymns or in today's case, patriotic songs.

We were unable to locate the person who wants the ringing to stop for comment.

The court date is set for Thursday, November 14th at 3 p.m.