In April 2006, Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley commissioned the refurbishing of the Cathedral bells. The bells were originally installed in 1909. On April 10, 1909, the Grand Rapids Herald declared the bells the finest in the state. These bells, ranging in weight from 250 pounds to 3,050 pounds, were manufactured by the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore. As was custom, each bell was named:
• Bell No. 1 – St. Cecilia (paid for by the Altar Society at a cost of $1,225)
• Bell No. 2 – St. Patrick (paid for by the Holy Name Society $850)
• Bell No. 3 – Holy Guardian Angels (paid for by school children $610)
• Bell No. 4 – St. Ann (paid for by Mrs. Ann McIntyre $500)
• Bell No. 5 – St. Joseph (paid for by Mrs. Archibald McDonnell $375)
• Bell No. 6 – St. Richard (paid for by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Kibble $800)
• Bell No. 7 – Immaculate Conception (paid for by the Young Ladies Sodality $250)
• Bell No. 8 – St. John (paid for by Mrs. Catherine Byrne $225)
• Bell No. 9 – St. Mary Leonessa (paid for by the Wernette and Neuman families $200)
• Bell No. 10 – St. Anthony (paid for by Friends of St. Anthony $175)
The last time the bells had rung was in the early 1990s. The bells were refurbished and reinstalled in fall 2006 with the estimated value of $300,000. Each day the bells ring the angelus at 6:00 a.m. and at noon, and Sunday’s they call worshippers to Mass both morning and night.
If you would like to help preserve the historic beauty of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew and the bells, please visit Preserving Our Cathedral.