September 28, 2016 // Local

St. Pius X Church blesses new bells

Bell 1 is 40 inches across, 1,350 pounds and is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The inscription for this bell reads “Our Lady of the Annunciation” on the front, and “Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae” — the Angel of the Lord announced unto Mary on the back.

GRANGER — Ringing ten minutes prior to each Mass at St. Pius X Church, the existing “bells” that toll are actually an electronic recording soon to be replaced by four cast bronze bells, in the notes of G, A#, C and D#, visible from any direction and heard for miles around. On Saturday, Sept. 10, and Sunday, Sept. 11, the new bells were formally blessed after each Mass, prior to their final placement in the new bell tower.

Bell 2 is 34 inches in diameter, 778 pounds and is dedicated to St. Gabriel for the Angelus, as are many bell dedications. The second bell will follow this tradition and read “St. Gabriel the Archangel” on the front and “Ave Maria, gratia plena” — Hail Mary, full of grace — on the back.

“For centuries, church bells have played a prominent role in the history of countries, communities, and places of worship throughout the world. Historically, church bells have served as timekeepers, used to mark the hour for work, prayer, and community gatherings. In addition, church bells today often ring to commemorate occasions and events. The melodious sound of cast bronze church bells is timeless. Enclosed in prominent landmark towers and steeples, church bells are known and recognized, both by sight and sound, as local fixtures — representing the enduring quality of community.” said a representative of the Verdin Bell Company.

Bell 3 is 31 inches in diameter, 653 pounds and is dedicated in honor of Pope Francis. With the bells being blessed and installed during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, this bell will also honor a saint of mercy, as chosen by St. Pius X parishioners. It reads “His Holiness, Pope Francis” on the front and “St. Teresa of Calcutta” on the back.

Following ancient tradition, St. Pius X leadership chose to inscribe each bell with a name that would provide parishioners a historical reference. Parishioners were allowed to cast a vote to name two of the bells.

Bell 4 is 26 inches across, 407 pounds and will be dedicated to local Church leadership, inscribed with the name of the Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend at the time of dedication, and the name of a saint who is connected to our diocese, as chosen by parishioners. It reads “Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades” on the front and “Blessed Basil Moreau, CSC,” on the back. Blessed Basil Moreau, CSC, was the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

The bells will be hoisted to their home in the prominent new bell tower located at the northeast corner of the new church in the next few weeks.

The scheduled dedication of the new church is March 25, 2017, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.

For more photos from St. Pius on the construction of the new church visit the gallery.

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