Every Saturday and Sunday the St. Albert bells call out to all of St. Albert to invite you onto the hill to stop for a moment and listen to them. The bells in St. Albert are most often heard ringing to call parishioners to mass or announce a wedding or funeral.
Did you know that these lovely bells all have names and godparents?
Following an old tradition in France the bells on Mission Hill were baptized and have godparents. Oral history has passed down the story that these bells have such beautiful voices, akin to a soul, so they are baptized and blessed and then ring out to share both joy and sorrow as well as sharing protection to all those who are within hearing distance.
The bells on Mission Hill are named Alexandrine, Caroline and Vitaline. They were gifted to Bishop Grandin and the Mission of St. Albert from France, where the bells were cast. The first bell arrived in 1874 and the other two joined the first in 1887.
They’ve had many homes, including when they were put to rest because it was feared they had cracked. One story tells us that it was later discovered, when an Oblate priest with perfect pitch was visiting, that the leather holding the clapper was loose and this caused the clapper to hit the wrong part of the bell.
Now they are on display in a bell tower on Mission Hill and if you’re lucky, you’ll hear them while visiting us!
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