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Cathedral Bells

The Original Bells

The north cathedral spire houses ten bells. They were first blessed and anointed with holy oil by Bishop Henry J. Richter on April 11, 1909. The April 10, 1909 edition of the Grand Rapids Herald declared the bells the finest in the state. These bells, ranging in weight from 250 pounds to 3,050 pounds, were manufactured by the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore.

The Refurbished Bells

The original bells fell silent at the end of the 20th century, badly in need of repair. The last time they had rung was in the early 1990s. Then in April 2006, Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley commissioned their refurbishing. The refurbished bells were reinstalled in fall 2006 with the estimated value of $300,000. Today you can hear the bells ring daily at Noon and 6pm, before each Sunday Mass, and at weddings and funerals.

Naming the Bells

As was the custom, the original bells were given names at their blessing and installation in 1909. These names were chosen by the individuals or groups who donated to purchase each bell.

• Bell No. 1 – St. Cecilia (paid for by the Altar Society at a cost of $1,225)

• Bell No. 2 – St. Patrick (paid for by the Holy Name Society $850)

• Bell No. 3 – Holy Guardian Angels (paid for by school children $610)

• Bell No. 4 – St. Ann (paid for by Mrs. Ann McIntyre $500)

• Bell No. 5 – St. Joseph (paid for by Mrs. Archibald McDonnell $375)

• Bell No. 6 – St. Richard (paid for by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Kibble $800)

• Bell No. 7 – Immaculate Conception (paid for by the Young Ladies Sodality $250)

• Bell No. 8 – St. John (paid for by Mrs. Catherine Byrne $225)

• Bell No. 9 – St. Mary Leonessa (paid for by the Wernette and Neuman families $200)

• Bell No. 10 – St. Anthony (paid for by Friends of St. Anthony $175)

Tour the Cathedral

Self-tour brochures are available. To schedule group tours, including docent-led tours, please contact our business manager, Barb Foss

616.456.1454 x1902

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