Rochester Bell of Remembrance


Brother David Schlatter, OFM is the founder of the Bells of Remembrance Project which began in 2001 following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and is part of the Franciscan Center of Wilmington, Delaware. Brother David heard about our Burial Initiative program through two friends, also among our volunteers who are present for burials for those who die without resources or mourners. He decided to donate this bell to GRCC in recognition of our program.

The bell, cast by the McShane Bell Foundry, Baltimore, Maryland in 1885, was the third bell received by the Franciscan Center in 1993 through a grant from their Holy Name Province. It was used in New York City for the 9/11 memorial and in Washington, DC for the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial honoring firefighters who died on 9/11/2001. The bell is one of 18 used in various tributes, memorials, and ceremonies.

Brother David brought the 1700 pound bell with a 3000 pound steel-framed towable trailer complete with a hitch, to the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse October 4, 2016 on the Feast of St. Francis. The Rochester Bell of Remembrance will be available to the community. Find below the faith values we bring to the use of this bell and the various groups welcome to call and ask for the presence and use of the bell in those contexts.

The Theology of the Bell:

The heart of the Bell theology is the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. The Bell is the continuous invitation to compassion and relationship, calling on all to love the neighbor out of the acceptance of God’s love for us. As we are loved, reconciled to God, we become reconcilers. Where there is a breach in compassion and love, we are all called, as in the Book of Isaiah, to become repairers of the breach.


In the context of values behind the theology above, the bell is available as follows (if your group does not fall into these categories, please call us and explain how you would like to use the bell).

  • Service groups, particularly: fire fighters, police departments, veterans, all first responders
  • Faith groups
  • Educational institutions on all levels
  • Youth and senior groups
  • Others upon request

We are building a group of volunteers for transport. We will ask groups using the bell for a donation to help offset the cost of insurance, etc.

Please call GRCC – Faith In Action office at 254-2570 or email to obtain the bell for your organization/event.

Rochester Bell of Remembrance Given to GRCC-Faith In Action Network on the Feast of St. Francis, October 4, 2016