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27 Nov 2021

Restoration of Mt St Joseph Abbey’s Great Bells in Roscrea

Dom Malachy and the community of Mount St Joseph Abbey are excited to announce a comprehensive restoration programme

Restoration of Mt  St Joseph Abbey’s Great Bells in Roscrea

Pictured above is one of Mt St Joseph’s great bells, currently under restoration

Would you like to be part of our bell restoration?


Dom Malachy and the community of Mount St Joseph Abbey are excited to announce a comprehensive restoration programme for the monastery’s great bells which have not been fully operational now for many years.


Bells are tremendously important in monastic life. They wake us up in the early morning, summon us to prayer, to work and to community meals. The toll to announce the death of a monk, and they swing together to mark special feasts and solemnities.


At Mount St Joseph Abbey there are two great bells, named Ciarán and Cronán after the founders of the 6th century monasteries of Clonmacnoise and Roscrea. They were cast specially in a bell-foundry in Louvain, Belgium and were the gift of Abbot Camillus’ sister Susanna and her husband Michael Kernan.


Beautiful inscriptions in Latin and Irish are embossed on the bells. At the end of this statement you can read an excerpt of the inscription on the smaller ‘Cronan’ bell.


On special festivities it is customary for the bells to double swing for several minutes before the major Offices and Mass, but this has not been possible for many years.
It is our fervent hope that we can restore the bells to their full usage in time for the great celebration of Christmas Midnight Mass and our Carol Service 2021, and to hear both bells resounding around our monastery campus in their full glory.


The supporting structures for the bells are now completed and we are now safe to proceed with the automation phase of the project.
In a little while the new rope ring for the smaller bell will be replicated, fabricated and galvanised. Also, the new motors for the swinging are due to arrive soon.
To attain this goal, we need to raise €75,000. We believe in the generosity of friends and neighbours who share our site and who are connected to us in faith, and we are therefore asking for donations towards this project.


All donations, however small or large, will directly help the restoration project and are very gratefully received.
You can make your donation by clicking the ‘donate’ button on this web page, msjroscrea.ie/donate
You can also donate by making a bank transfer directly to Mount Saint Joseph Abbey.


Please include “donation” in the reference on your transfer, and your name if you wish to be identified.
The following are our account details. Account name: Mount Saint Joseph Abbey IBAN: IE14BOFI90439244459569 BIC: BOFIIE2D Bank: Bank of Ireland, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary.

Here follows an excerpt from the inscription on ‘Cronan’, the smaller of our bells: “Come let us ring out our joy to the Lord.
At the hour of midnight and seven times a day I convene the monks to the Work of God.
I am Cronán.”

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