About five years ago at one of the hospitality gatherings, I became engaged in a conversation about our church bells that had not been ringing for many years. The subject of raising funds to get them ringing again was brought up. But How? Would I be willing to do a Parish Garage Sale? Were they kidding? It was estimated that it would cost around $12,000 to complete the task. We began to advertise the planned sale in the parish bulletin seeking the donation of unwanted quality and unique items along with recruiting volunteers. As usual, the people of St. T’s responded instantly. Donations came in by the truckload. Dozens of parishioners came forward to lend a hand in unpacking, cleaning, polishing, pricing, labeling, and most of all presenting the sale items in an impressive organized manner. Marshall Field would have been proud of our presentations. Reception from the garage sale attendees was positive and accolades were in abundance as evidenced the $5,300 raised at our first sale. We repeated the sale the next year and raised $6,400. We had enough money to repair the bells. We did the sale one more time and that one achieved $7,400, the proceeds of which were earmarked for our new telephone system. The total for all three sales raised was almost $20,000.
One of the most moving Sundays in my life at St. T’s was when I heard the bells for the first time. I was led to believe that the installation of the bells would be delayed for at least two more weeks. During Father Frank’s homily, the bells began to ring. I was totally unprepared, startled, shocked and shaking when I heard the sound of the bells and saw heads turning to see my reaction. For a change I was speechless and motionless. It reminded me of one of my all time favorite musicals. “The Bells are Ringing”. All this was made possible because of the positive energy and dedication of members of our Great Faith community who came together to achieve this task . This is only one example of what makes St. Teresa of Avila a wonderful place to worship as we continue to work together in Building Our Faith.