At 12 noon on October 11, 2012, hundreds of Catholic churches and thousands of people across the United States will be joining together to ring in the first day of the Year of Faith. Declared by Pope Benedict XVI for the period from October 11, 2012 through November 24, 2013, the Year of Faith is intended as “a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the Savior of the world.”
- In the Diocese of Portland in Maine, students and faculty at Catholic schools throughout the state will head outdoors, each holding a bell which they’ll ring for three minutes to welcome the year.
- In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Son Rise Morning Show, which airs on Sacred Heart Radio affiliates and other stations around the country, has joined with the Catholic Campus Ministry Association and the Cincinnati-based Verdin Company to promote “Ring in the Year of Faith.”
- In California, the 241-year-old San Gabriel Mission will ring its bells at noon. Pastor Bruce Wellems, CMF, pastor of the San Gabriel Mission, invites people to come to the Mission’s Gift Shop at 11:45 a.m., where they will be led to a special place where they will have the opportunity to ring the largest of the mission’s six bells, the 2,000 pound bell.
- Bishop James D. Conley, bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, encouraged Catholic churches and individuals in Lincoln to participate. He urged, “Let your neighbors know that the New Evangelization is under way in your part of the world.”
- Non-Catholic churches are invited to ring their bells as well, as a sign of solidarity with the Catholic Church’s stance on religious liberty.
The Verdin Company, which originated the “Ring in the Year of Faith” project, has since 1842 been dedicated to creating fine cast bronze bells and electronic digital bells, as well as tower clocks, street clocks and streetscape furnishings. If you don’t have a bell to ring at noon, Verdin offers a free ringtone which can be downloaded from its website.