A Tower for All Seasons

By Faithful Friar

As the weather steadily improves, we look forward to ringing in our tower on sunny days, with the doors wide open, and we also look forward to welcoming the many guest ringers who come to share our joy!

Our tower is probably one of the more “seasonal” towers in the United States. Most towers welcome visitors all year long, but our tower definitely sees a rise and fall in the number of guest ringers, depending on the season. Of course we never question why our ringing friends aren’t clambering to visit in January or February, when a down parka, hat and snow boots are required to stand in the “ringing room”. But we also understand the smiles on ringers’ faces as they enjoy ringing on a beautiful summer day, with the sun streaming in, and a gentle breeze wafting through the open tower doors. That season is approaching and we eagerly anticipate the arrival of our friends from Boston, New York, England and elsewhere.

One thing we realized right away as we began our journey of learning to ring, was that every bell ringer in the world is hospitable and delighted to share their skill with any other would-be ringer. As a band starting out with not an ounce of experience among us, we presented a daunting task for any experienced ringer. But strangers became friends upon the first meeting, and we quickly learned that all bell towers and ringers share this modus operandi. We were surprised, relieved, humbled and grateful to find this was the case — and the rest is history. Here we are, years later, still struggling to conquer our fears and foibles, but enjoying every minute of it, and doing our best to emulate those we have met along the way — hoping to make those who visit our tower feel as welcome as we did in every tower we have visited. Hope to see you soon!

Sarah with sally

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About Faithful Friar

I am a 20+ year member of the Community of Jesus Brotherhood, so I live in the Friary with the other vowed brothers along with any novices or combination of guest/ resident men – young or old – who may be with us at any given time. Our vows are the same as any simple or solemnly professed Community member, with the addition of consecrated celibacy and poverty. I moved here shortly out of high school to study music for a summer. At the end of that summer I chose to stay here as a CJ member. Shortly thereafter I knew another change was needed, and asked to be accepted into the brotherhood first as a postulant, later as a novice. My life in the Brotherhood involves a variety of occupations, but they are centered on the continual service of prayer and praise in our church and on the outreach ministries springing from that service. This means manual labor as well as ongoing study and training: theological, musical, technical/ scientific, artistic, historical, philosophical, etc. Sometimes this involves teaching others, so that is part of our life too. It’s a life of poverty and yet full of hidden riches.

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