Church bells to remember Dr. King April 4

WASHINGTON—On April 4, 2018 at 7:01 pm (EDT), St Mary Cathedral in Lansing will join with Catholic churches across the country in solidarity with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by tolling the their bells 39 times to honor the number of years Dr. King lived on earth.

At that time, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Shrine will join with numerous other churches and schools across the nation tolling bells in homage to Dr. King’s legacy and his many contributions including the principle of non-violent resistance. The moment is also an opportunity for us to pause and reflect individually on what we are doing to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us and to also ask ourselves how we seek to help our brothers and sisters still suffering under the weight of racism. 

April 4 also marks 50 years since the Rev. Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.  The bells in honor of his life will initially ring first at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and The King Center, located in Atlanta.  Bells will then chime in the City of Memphis, and then nationally and internationally.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will also broadcast the tolling of the bells live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on their Facebook page at 

The King Center has also planned a series of events to mark this historic year with the theme MLK50 Forward: Together We win with Love for Humanity. For more information on The King Center’s events please visit