Let Tradition Ring
This majestic Bell, having sat atop the Saint Vincent Hospital Vernon Hill Campus for over 100 years, has long been a symbol of strength and fortitude. Its soothing and benevolent tones regularly graced the “Hill” neighborhood three times a day to announce the Angelus—a Roman Catholic prayer—at 6 AM, Noon, and 6 PM.
Today the historic Bell rings from a tower erected in 2010 on the roof of the hospital at 123 Summer Street. A replica of the bell is in the Atrium of Saint Vincent Hospital, surrounded by cornerstones of our previous hospital buildings from 1899 and 1952, and two large medallions that commemorate the Catholic Church and the Sisters of Providence, Holyoke, MA.
Saint Vincent Hospital Bell
The re-dedication and blessing of the Bell stands as a tribute to the Bell’s unique legacy and a reminder of the Catholic traditions that have made Saint Vincent Hospital the special place of healing that it is today.
Cast by the Meneely Bell Company of Troy, NY, shipped to Worcester and placed on top of the Hospital, the Bell was officially dedicated and blessed November 8, 1899.
At the time of the original dedication and blessing of the Bell, this rite was one of the most imposing of the Catholic Church, and was sometimes likened to baptism. The blessing required the presence of the Bishop, or in special cases, a priest who had been granted the authority or permission to do so.
A gift of Mr. Peter Baker, owner of the Baker Lead Manufacturing Company of Worcester, and a prominent member of the Hospital Board of Trustees at the turn of the last century, the Bell bears the name of Saint Vincent de Paul, the patron saint of the Hospital,
along with the names of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Baker, their children,
and grandchildren. A Latin inscription proclaims a special tribute
to the charitableness of Mr. Baker and his family.
Eleemosyna Viri Quasi Sigillum Com Ips “A man’s almsgiving is like a signet ring to him”
—Eccl. XVII 18
Over the years, Saint Vincent Hospital grew extensively in size and stature, opening a full-service acute-care teaching Hospital in 1954 at 25 Winthrop Street, on the grounds of the former Crompton Estate. A special gift from The Guild of Our Lady of Providence paid for electrifying the Bell in 1957. The Bell was moved to the 1954 Hospital building on August 8, 1973, where it remained until the spring of 2007, when it was brought to its new home at Saint Vincent Hospital, 123 Summer Street. On October 4, 207, the Bell was re-dedicated and blessed as a tribute to its unique legacy and a reminder of the Catholic Traditions that have made Saint Vincent Hospital a special place of healing since its beginning in 1893.
Today, thanks to the kindness of the Diocese of Worcester, the employees of Saint Vincent Hospital, and the many generous donors to the Catholic Restoration Apostolate -- a non-profit organization -- a new bell tower has been built on the roof of the Hospital.
In October of 2010, on the occasion of the hospital's first 10 years at its Summer Street location, the bell tower is officially unveiled and the Bell's soothing and benevolent tones once again grace the Worcester hills and call us to prayer.
A replica of the original Saint Vincent Hospital Bell, surrrounded by cornerstones from 1899 and 1952, and two large medallions detailing the Coat of Arms of the first Bishop of Worcester and the Seal of the Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, MA, now resides in the hospital Atrium.