Churches around the country are invited to ring their bells on St Patrick’s Day as signal of the call to renewal that comes with IEC 2012.

Congress Bell in Rome

On 14th March, Pope Benedict XVI received the Eucharistic Congress Bell from an IEC2012 delegation in Rome. Pope Benedict XVI blessed the bell, rang it vigorously, and admired the Congress icons.

He was presented with shamrock by Sheena Darcy  and with the first copy of the Congress Commemorative Medal, by Colette Furlong .

St Patrick’s Day – Ring for Renewal

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On 2nd March, IEC2012 began the last 100 days of preparation for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, that takes place in Dublin from 10th to 17th June. To mark this moment on the journey, we announced a special event to take place on St Patrick’s Day this year.

We are asking people all around Ireland and the world to “Ring for Renewal” on St Patrick’s Day. It is an invitation to pause on the journey of life and reflect on how we can renew as people and as members of the Church as we prepare for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.

The idea is to engage in the path of personal and Church renewal which is the agenda of the Eucharistic Congress and to join the journey in a personal way.

Where will bells ring on St Patrick’s Day?

  • We invite the faithful at home to pause and reflect as they ring a bell at any time of the day.
  • We invite cathedrals, churches and schools, to ring their bells for two minutes at 12 noon and 6pm inviting people to renewal – both personal and communal.
  • We invite parishes, churches and chapels to leave a bell at a suitable place in their churches/chapels/cathedrals for people to ring as they go out from Mass or if they are going in to pray during the day.
  • Public figures in Ireland and elsewhere in the world will be invited to ring a bell.
  • We invite people taking part in parades or watching parades around Ireland to ring a bell.

Why ring a Bell?

The symbol of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress is a Bell. Like the Olympic torch prepares for the Olympics, the Eucharistic Congress Bell has been going all around Ireland calling people to prepare for the Congress since St Patrick’s day in 2011. Having visited all 26 dioceses in Ireland, the Bell travels to Rome for this year’s St Patrick’s Day, bringing an international aspect to the call to spiritual renewal in the heart of the Catholic Church.

Like St Patrick’s Bell, the Congress Bell rings across the land calling God’s people together, to hear the good news that God is present among us and calls us to communion. For Christians the bell is associated with the invitation to gather, the sound perceived as God’s voice, God’s call, which draws people to assemble. In early Christian Ireland, St Patrick’s bell heralded the dawn of a new and eternal day for the Irish people – called to hear the good news – Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh – and in turn become bearers of this news to others, far and near. The image of the bell is still used to convey joy, celebration and the announcement of good news. Combined, the image and sound of the bell symbolise for us God’s call to all people to gather to hear good news.