Our Parish Bells
We did some investigating in our bell tower and discovered the fascinating and inspiring inscriptions on the two bells in our bell tower. Although the real bells in our tower have not rung for a number of decades, the inscriptions on the bells tell not only a chapter in the history of our parish but also the faith which has motivated our people since our parish’s foundation.
The largest bell in our tower weighs 2500 lbs. and the inscription on it reads:
DIRO INCENDIO DIRUTA RESURREXI IN HONOREM APOSTOLORUM PRINCIPUM FIDELES VOCATURA MCMXXII
“I, having been destroyed by the terrible fire, rose (have arisen) in honor of the princes of the apostles to call the faithful. 1922.”
You may remember that the second parish church burned down on Pentecost Sunday 1922. Many of you have seen the famous photo by Charles Koretke of the tower falling in flames into the body of the church. This tower contained bells which were destroyed in that fire. It appears that our forebears took the bronze from those bells and had it reforged into the bell which sits in our tower now.
What is most fascinating about the project to restore our bells is that it has been a journey of discovery. You may remember initially that we believed that the only inscription on the small 250 lb. bell was the words:
FUGIT TEMPUS VENIT MORS ADESTE FIDELES
“Time flies. Death comes. Come Ye Faithful.”
However, when the small bell was moved by the crane out of tower so that it might be taken to Cincinnati for restoration (please see the pictures below of the crane removing this bell on January 10, 2013) the inscription on the back side of the bell was revealed which reads:
IN HONOREM S. BERNADI FIERI ME JUSSIT PAROCHUS MCMXXII
“The Pastor commanded that I be made in honor of St. Bernard 1922”
Please remember that the pastor of the parish was Fr. Bernard Schutte who built the present church and had these bells cast. Hence, we know the names of all three of our bells: Saints Peter and Paul (2500 lb. bell cast in 1922), Mother of God (990 lb. bell cast in 2013) and St. Bernard (250 lb. bell cast in 1922).
St. Bernard of Clairvaux was the French Abbot of a Cistercian monastery, is a doctor of the Church, and is renowned for his fidelity to the Pope and authentic Catholic teaching, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, his ability to resolve disputes and the positive mark he left on Western Monasticism. How appropriate that his bell hang in our tower with the patron saints of Rome and the Mother of God.
Pictures of the small bell being removed from the tower:
This bell was the bell which signaled the hours and tolled at funerals. These bells together were pealed to call the faithful to worship at Sunday Mass. Bells are ancient. Bells have personalities and have been an important part of our parish life for a long time.
Parish churches are permitted to have up to three bells and so we will be able to call the faithful with a three bell peal.
Our New Bell
Our new bell is done! Our new bell, “Mother of God,” will be on display along with our refurbished bells, outside the Ministry Center starting February 8, 2013. Here are a couple of pictures of our new “Mother of God” bell:
In honor of the Year of Faith and the restoration of our historic bells, our new bell was cast on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at Verdin Bell and Clock Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. Representatives from our parish council and staff who have been directly involved with this project were in attendance.
To see this historic bell casting, click SSPP Bell Casting.
Our new bell weighs 990 lbs. and is inscribed with the following:
RESTITVTIS DENVO CAMPANIS FVSA NOVITER IN HONOREM SANCTAE DEIPARAE ANIMAS AD MAGNIFICANDVM DOMINVM VOCO IN ANNVNTIATIONE DOMINI A.D. MMXIII FIDEI
“When the bells were restored again, I, having been cast anew in honor of the Mother of God, call souls to magnify (for magnifying) the Lord. The Solemnity of the Annunciation In the 2013th Year of our Lord, the Year of Faith.”
Here are some pictures from our trip to the Verdin Company to cast our new bell:
Our new bell will be named “Mother of God” (God-Bearer) as our Holy Father has entrusted the Year of Faith to the patronage of our Blessed Mother and our parish has a long-lived and intense devotion to her.
Mass of Blessing
On February 17, 2013 after the 9:30 Mass, Bishop Joseph Siegel blessed our refurbished bells and our new bell. In March, the bells will be restored in the tower and a new ringing mechanism constructed. The bells will ring for the first time on Easter Sunday 2013. Here are pictures of the blessing of the bells:
We have just received a video of Bishop Joseph Siegel blessing our bells on February 17, 2013, shown here:
History of Bells
Bells were used as far back as the Ancient Babylonians and by Christians almost from the time that Christianity became legal in the Roman Empire. Certainly, by the 9thCentury, they were an ordinary fixture in every church. Bells are used to call the faithful to prayer when a person dies. Bells would call the faithful to pray the Angelus three times daily and, most importantly, to celebrate the Eucharist. Bells would ring across the country to signal the end of the Second World War and to warn citizens of dangers ahead. From the earliest times, bells were named and the inscriptions on them written in the first person…as if the bells were speaking.
History of The Verdin Company
Since 1842, six generations of the Verdin family have been dedicated to creating fine cast bronze bells, carillons, electronic digital bells, tower clocks, street clocks, and streetscape furnishings that enrich communities and become cherished legacies for generations to enjoy.Over the decades we’ve gained expertise in partnering with our clients from project conception through design, manufacturing, installation, and service. Today, the Verdin family remains committed to producing the highest quality cast bronze bells, clocks, and towers using innovative technology and manufacturing techniques.