St Joseph – the Chapel Bell

The Bell – Saint Joseph

The Chapel bell was commissioned from the Bagot Bell Company of Adelaide.  This company imported the bell from Belgium as there are no manufacturers of bells of this size and calibre produced in Australia.

According to Church Tradition a chapel bell is required to be blessed and baptised in a special ceremony prior to it being hung.  This ceremony took place on Tuesday 6 September 2015 and this marked a significant milestone in the development of our Chapel of St. Mary of the Cross.  Before the bell was hung it was blessed by all three of our school chaplains: Fr. Frank Buhagiar, Fr. Benneth Osuagwa and Fr. Shymon Thekkekalathungal.  In line with church tradition Fr. Frank gave the bell a name – Saint Joseph.  He selected this name in honour of the connection St. Joseph has with the Werribee area and in particular his connection to St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop.

Blessing of the bell

Our bell is an important feature of the Chapel and is will be rung to signify a call to prayer and Eucharist and in time of celebration.  In the course of a school day the bell is typically rung three times: once at morning homeroom as a call to prayer, again at midday and finally in afternoon homeroom.  This is called our ‘Echo of the Angelis’ and is our reconnectualisation of this ancient and powerful prayer.

The following is a section from an interview with Fr. Frank Buhagiar, Parish Priest of St Andrews about why the name St. Joseph was chosen for the Chapel bell.

Fr. Frank’s Reflection on naming the Bell.


“Why we have chosen the name of St Joseph for our Bell now, that is placed in the tower of the Chapel of St Mary of the Cross; the reason is very powerful.  First of all we have the Sisters of St Joseph in this Parish and one of them still active at MacKillop College and they came to our Parish in 1910 and they started naturally, looking after St Andrews School and then later on they started also looking after MacKillop College.

But, in 1953 they also started the school, parish school at Werribee South and that is where they started the feast of St Joseph.  The Italian community started that beautiful feast called the SAGRA of St Joseph and that feast is still being celebrated now.  The school, being taken over by Mary MacKillop, that feast is still being celebrated every year on 19 March, the feast of St Joseph, and naturally the feast of the Sisters of St Joseph. So in my reflection and also looking at all different sayings I came to the conclusion that St joseph should be very prominent in the whole scheme of MacKillop College spiritual journey as a Catholic school and also the Bell is a very special sign of our Catholic Identity and when you hear the voice of the Bell always praise God, thank God for all the Saints, especially St Joseph”. The bell was donated to the College by the Parish of St. Andrews.


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