Do You Hear What I Hear?

Perhaps you have heard something new in the neighborhood in the last week? Thanks to an extraordinary gift in memory of Matt Suhar who passed away in 2013, an electronic carillon system has been installed in the parish bell towers. Now, for the first time, the sound of bells can be heard coming from St. Andrew Parish! In the extended post, you can actually view a video of the blessing ceremony at the 3:00 PM Christmas Eve Mass, as well as hear a recording of the very first time the carillon system was used.

Video of the blessing of the Electronic Carillon System at Christmas Eve Mass. 3:00 PM December 24, 2015.

To be certain, an electronic carillon system does not equate bells. Bells are very expensive and the difficulty of installing bells into the St. Andrew Church would have been so prohibitively expensive, it would actually be easier and more cost effective to tear the bell towers down and start again. Instead carillon systems are designed to generate the sound that the bell towers were meant to produce. If you haven’t heard them yet, be sure to come by the Church before Mass or on the hour. They are beautiful!

The new system was a gift given in memory of Matt Suhar, a parishioner who passed away suddenly on March 16, 2013. Many in our community, both in the church and school, as well as the wider music community knew Matt. We mourned with his wimatt Suharfe Susan and his family the loss of a loving husband, father, son, brother, parishioner, band mate, and friend.

Matt was a person who was filled with much joy and freely shared that joy with others. Everyone was keenly aware of the moment Matt would enter a room, for the atmosphere would immediately change. For Matt, every day, every moment, every person was an opportunity to celebrate.

One of the conversations had between Fr. Sergio, Matt, and Susan was the fact that our church does not have any bells. Matt was amazed that this could even be possible. Even after it was explained to him that cast bells are prohibitively expensive Matt and Susan frequently talked of their dream for the sound of bells to ring from the towers of Saint Andrew.

That dream is now a reality. Now the sound of bells marking the time of day and calling us to prayer. We are profoundly grateful to Susan and her family for this wonderful gift that will enhance the liturgical life of our parish.

Whenever you hear the sound of the new carillon system as you pass by St. Andrew parish, please say a prayer of gratitude for the life of Matt and for those dear to him.

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