I love this story posted at Clerical Whispers. It is a testament to the faith of the people in a community. It is totally the opposite of a story here in New Mexico at my own parish.
In the Fall of 2007 there was a complaint to the local paper about the bells ringing at my parish church from a County Commissioner who hated being disturbed by the chime of the church bells and wanted them to stop. A newspaper article resulted, then there was a letter to the editor from the pastor of my church in defense of the bells, and actually people rallied from the parish and the community to support the bells. Church bells have always rung in this town and I can't imagine a day when they don't ring. Tourists flock to this city and I think they love hearing the bells.
Anyway, here is the story, which I enjoyed.
Locals force priest to ring bells
A village priest who stopped ringing the church bells to appease a jittery tourist began chiming them again on Wednesday when residents came out in the streets to bang their pots and pans in protest.
Father Alfredo De Simoni had caved in to the request of the town's single tourist, who in need of a good night's rest, had asked him a few days ago to still the bells from 10 pm till at least 8 am.
But the 85 residents of the Ligurian hilltop town of Mezzema were accustomed to waking up with the sound of the bells at 7 am.
They balked at the move and decided to take action, plastering the town with protest banners and leaflets.
On Sunday they all boycotted Mass.
Still, De Simoni could not be swayed.
But when the locals rose up in unison to clank their kitchen ware, he finally got the message.
When the bells rang on Wednesday, everyone came out to celebrate.
Leave to the locals to get things done. Here everyone came out to hear the new Cathedral bells ring for the first time. I bet even a few tourists were thrilled to hear them.
I'll see if I can find any links or articles about the Bell Controversy here and post them later.