Bell Tower

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The exterior of the church, with its redface brick and limestone trim, is also very attractive. To the left of the main entrance is a concrete bell tower approximately eighty-five feet high. The tower supports three huge bells which were cast in Belgium.

The largest bell, weighing 1,521 pounds, sounds a “G,” while the 882 pound medium-sized bell sounds an “A sharp” and the smallest and lightest one, 628 pounds, sounds a “C.” The largest bell is also equipped with a tolling hammer which strikes the bell while it is in a stationary position. It is used in tolling funerals and sounding the Angelus prayer.

A “direct-drive” system unique in the United States connects the bells by cable directly to the motor enabling the bells to swing in the same rhythm as would be done by rope pulling.

Before being installed in the tower, the bells were blessed in ceremonies held November 10, 1966. Right Rev. Monsignor Oliver D. Keefer, pastor of Resurrection Church, Brookline, and Dean of the District, was the officiating priest at the blessing. The bells were dedicated, largest to smallest, to Saint Valentine and Frank J. and Mary Ellen Opfermann, members of the parish who donated both the bells and the bell tower; to Saint Anthony of Padua and Bishop John J. Wright; and to Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin and Father William F. Frawley. 

While the bell tower adds an extra touch of beauty to the church, it is also functional. Within its walls is built a masonry stack which contains the flues for the boiler, water heater and incinerator. Being a new church, Saint Valentine’s takes advantage of some modern conveniences such as snow melting systems. One such system, embedded in the front entrance deck, is fed off the wet heating system while the approaches to the smaller doors are cleared of snow by means of embedded electric cables.