The following story appeared in the April 8 Idaho Catholic Register.
The bell gifted to the Brothers at Verbum Spei will call them to prayer and to study. It was blessed by Bishop Peter Christensen on April 3 and will be housed in a bell tower to be built at Our Lady of Ephesus Monastery in the near future. (ICR photo/Emily Woodham)
By Emily Woodham
Bells have called the faithful to prayer for centuries. However, the Brothers at Verbum Spei often could not hear the tiny bells ringing down their hallways calling them to prayer.
That now changes, thanks to an anonymous benefactor who has secured a 500-pound bronze bell and donated it to Our Lady of Ephesus Monastery off of Five Mile Road in Boise.
“There’s a whole symbolism in the bell that it’s really the voice of God calling for the liturgy,” said Father Dominique Faure, prior of the monastery. “It’s also an invitation for all those around to share in our prayer life.”
Bishop Peter Christensen consecrated the bell for the Brothers during a Mass on April 3. More than 200 attended the liturgy that began outside, at the monastery’s grotto for Our Lady of Lourdes. The first part of the liturgy included prayers from Eastern Orthodox traditions for the consecration of the bell. The congregation then processed to the chapel for the liturgy of the Eucharist.
Three weeks ago, Father Dominique shared with friends his concern that the Brothers could not always hear the little bell calling them to prayer or class. Within days, an anonymous benefactor found and purchased a bell and had it shipped from the East coast of the United States. Originally, the bell was made in France. Based on the markings on the bell, it was consecrated and used in a church in Montreal, Canada. It is not known how old the bell is.
The bell arrived in Boise on March 31. Father Dominique asked Bishop Peter if he could officiate at the consecration. Despite the short notice, the Bishop’s schedule happened to be open.
The consecration of the bell began with an exorcism of “all evil, darkness and any dark influence.” Then it was blessed with holy water.
After the blessing, the bell was consecrated on the outside with the oil of the sick to bring healing to Christ’s faithful followers and for help and strength for all who hear it. Then the bell was anointed with chrism oil on the inside, with a prayer that those who hear its ringing would discern and be given the will to copy Christ’s strength, wisdom, loving kindness, beauty, justice, devotion and guiding power, so that His servants “may attain the glory God has ordained for them.”
The bell was named “Michael Teresa” – “Michael,” for St. Michael the Archangel and “Teresa” in honor of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, to whom the benefactors have a strong devotion.
After the naming, incense was burned to fill the bell. Bishop Peter prayed from the liturgy during the in-censing: “As the sweet aroma fills this bell and rises up before you, O God, so pour down your Holy Spirit, the fragrance of your all powerful blessing upon this bell and upon your servants who will ring it, that it may call out Your blessing on Your people.”
After the Mass, children and adults took turns ringing the new bell. The bell will remain on a stone bench at the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes until a bell tower to house it is built adjacent to the chapel.
To donate to Verbum Spei for the bell tower and other projects, go to the “Help Support Us” button on vsboise. org or contact Deacon Steve Germain at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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