The Bells of St. Norbert Abbey
Call to Worship
As seen in the Fall/Winter 2016 issue of Abbey Magazine (page 13)
Church bells are used to direct our attention: one bell or stroke pattern to announce death, another to call the faithful to prayer, another to announce the rank of the feast being celebrated.
They are also used to announce the times of the Liturgy of the Hours in monasteries and abbeys, and the Angelus in parish churches.
About the Bells
St. Norbert Abbey has a peal of six bells.
They were cast in Holland at the Bell-Foundry of Petit and Fritsen Ltd., and were consecrated by Green Bay Diocese Bishop Stanislaus Vincent Bona on July 2, 1958.
They were installed in the abbey church tower immediately after their consecration.
Each bell has an appropriate name, a fitting inscription, and bears the crest of the person in whose memory it is dedicated, as well as the shield of St. Norbert Abbey:
Listen to the bells…
Name: Saint Norbert
Tone: G | Weight: 1,540 lbs.
“This bell is dedicated to Saint Norbert, founder and patron of the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, and in perpetual memory of all the benefactors of the order but especially the thousands of generous souls throughout the United States whose contributions made this beautiful Saint Norbert Abbey possible. May this bell always proclaim the gratitude of the Canons of Saint Norbert Abbey. May its peal remind the faithful to pray that the sons of Saint Norbert will always remain faithful to their calling and draw ever closer to the foot of the cross.”
Name: Blessed Virgin Mary
Tone: E | Weight: 2,640 lbs.
“To Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the United States of America, we dedicate this bell in perpetual memory of our Holy Father Pope Pius XII and his successors in the chair of Peter. May its voice always proclaim the glory of God, the liberty of His Church, and the freedom of our country.”
Name: Saint Joseph
Tone: A | Weight: 1,100 lbs.
“We, the religious of Saint Norbert Abbey, dedicate this bell to St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in perpetual memory of our founder and first abbot, The Right Reverend Bernard Henry Pennings, who humbly attributed in a large measure the achievements of his long and fruitful life to the powerful intercession of Saint Joseph. His motto was, ‘Let Us Love One Another.’ His teaching was, ‘Go To Joseph.’ May all who hear this bell be inspired both to fraternal charity and a deep devotion to the patron of the universal church.”
Name: Saint Hubert
Tone: C | Weight: 640 lbs.
“The members of Saint Norbert Abbey dedicate this bell to the honor of Saint Hubert in perpetual memory of The Most Reverend Hubert Albert Noots, Abbot General of the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré. May it serve as a symbol of our gratitude to him and a pledge of our loyalty to those who succeed him.”
Name: Saint Stanislaus
Tone: D | Weight: 440 lbs.
“We, the sons of Saint Norbert, dedicate this bell in honor of Saint Stanislaus in perpetual memory of our beloved Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, His Excellency, The Most Reverend Stanislaus Vincent Bona. The dedication of this instrument is a token of our esteem for Bishop Bona and a pledge of our loyalty and devotion to him and his successors.”
Name: Saint Milo
Tone: E | Weight: 310 lbs.
“This bell is dedicated to Saint Milo in perpetual memory of the Right Reverend Milo Ondersteijn, Abbot of our mother abbey of Berne, and Pater Abbas of Saint Norbert Abbey. May this instrument serve as an enduring symbol of the filial love and devotion of Berne’s eldest daughter, St. Norbert Abbey.”