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150-year-old bells ring anew at St. Boniface

Joyous

ROBERT HINKAL/Sun-Gazette

The St. Boniface bells are ringing again after being out of commission for nearly three months for renovations.

The bells, approximately 146 years old, have been with St. Boniface, 326 Washington Blvd., since its founding in 1875. Made of brass, they survived a fire that destroyed the original church in 1972, said Father William “Bill” Corcoran.

Nearly 50 years later, those bells were taken down for sprucing up.

After a lengthy absense due not only to the repair work, but also because of supply chain problems delaying shipment of a part that malfunctioned, the bells finally were blessed on Sunday.

Corcoran performed the blessing at the base of the bell tower as the sun shone overhead. The bells then rung anew for a post-Mass crowd of about 75 people.

“The bells are a reminder to people who live around here, when they hear them, to take a moment in prayer,” Corcoran said. “They’re a reminder of God’s presence in our lives.”

After nearly everything was consumed by the fire in 1972, those bells help tie together past and present, he said.

“Plus, I think the blessing was a psychological boost after the horrible past two years we’ve had,” Corcoran added. “It brought people together and gave them something joyous to celebrate.”

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