Ohio bell manufacturer encourages people to ring in the Year of Faith

If an Ohio-based bell and clock manufacture's plans go well, the Year of Faith will begin Oct. 11 with a celebration of singing bells from hundreds of Catholic churches and people across the United States.

The Verdin Company -- partnered with Catholic Campus Ministry Association and Brian Patrick, host of the Son Rise Morning Show -- announced the project Monday in a press release, encouraging parishes and church organizations across the United States to sign up.  

The Verdin Company is a 170-year-old family-owned business in Cincinnati and has created, preserved and restored more than 20,000 bells in churches across the country. It has also brought bells to over 100 college campuses.

The Year of Faith, announced by Pope Benedict XVI last year in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei, will run from Oct. 11 to Nov. 24, 2013. During the year, Catholics are asked to renew their faith and deepen their knowledge by reflecting and studying Vatican II documents as well as the catechism.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said on its website that Oct. 11 was chosen because it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

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At noon Oct. 11, bells across the country will ring for three minutes to honor the beginning of a faith-filled, yearlong celebration.

The ringing of bells has been a tradition since the 14th century to remind the faithful to pray the Angelus. The Angelus, Latin for "angel," is a reminder of Angel Gabriel visiting Mary, announcing she is with child. In many churches, this tradition is still practiced, and bells are rung in the morning, noon and evening.

As of Wednesday, several hundred parishes and people have signed up to "ring in" the Year of Faith with The Verdin Company. For more information and to sign up, go to Verdin's website.

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