Never Forget

by Faithful Friar

There is not much in this life that is more moving than to hear a bell tolling from the tower. Its mournful, rhythmic cry interrupts our self-centered lives with the demand to pay attention to something other than our busy schedules. It causes us to wonder – who died? What has happened? Who has been lost to us? We begin to count the rings, three – four – five…until we lose track because they are too numerous, or something steals our attention away.


Such was the case this last Sunday when the Anniversary of 9/11 fell on a Sunday and marked 15 years since the terror attacks on the United States. The #10 Bell in the tower at the Church of the Transfiguration began tolling at 8:46 a.m…and did so 5 more times to mark the destruction of so much that we held dear….or was it calling our community to prayer and celebrating the lives of all who arrived at the gates of heaven on that day? Was it indeed a mournful sound or a somber rejoicing? People came and went by the tower all morning, the bell weaving its sound through our sunlit Sunday. Finally, with all seated in church, the final toll began and ended at 10:28. Like a spell being broken, we were reminded once again that many lives were sacrificed that day—some were given and some were taken. We were grateful to be called to remembrance and prayed once more that we would never forget.

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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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