On Sunday, Dec. 8th, 10:30 a.m. the bells at Our Lady of Mercy rang out for the first time since spring of 2017, after extensive work to replace the mechanisms that ring the bells, including the motors, the striker, and controller. The ceremonial ringing included a blessing of the new system by Fr. Matthew H. Phelan, O. de M., pastor.
Since that time, each day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the bells have tolled in clock tower fashion at the top of the hour with a single toll at the bottom of the hour. In addition, the Angelus bell — a call to prayer for Catholics — has rung at noon and 6 p.m. [The traditional 6 a.m. ring is bypassed out of respect for local codes.] On weekends, a call to prayer rings 5 minutes before each Sunday Mass.
This past weekend, a request was made by some neighbors to alter the ringing schedule out of consideration for health care professionals who were working overnight hours due to the COVID-19 crisis. The pastor decided to temporarily silence the bells in order to consult with the pastoral council and weigh the opinions of parishioners and the citizens of Le Roy. After a weekend of consultation, lively discussion through social media, silence, and prayerful consideration, it has been determined that bells shall be programmed according to the following parameters:
While the COVID-19 (coronavirus) social distancing guidelines are in place for the State of New York:
The first day social distancing guidelines are lifted:
The bells will ring in celebration at 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The funeral toll will ring at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The Angelus will ring at noon and 6 p.m.
Following this day of both celebration and prayer, the bells will return to the previous ringing pattern that followed the repairs.
Our Lady of Mercy Parish, 44 Lake St., Le Roy, is a ministry of the Order of the B.V.M. of Mercy - Mercedarian Friars.