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The Madera Tribune

For whom the bells tolled

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webmaster | 03/14/13

Maderans react to new pope

When the bells of St. Joachim Catholic Church echoed across central Madera well before noon Wednesday, some didn’t know what to think. But others knew well the reason.

“The bells just kept ringing, ringing,” said Mary Ann Hutcherson, manager of St. Marello Bookstore, “and I see (religious education coordinator) Diana (Saenz) and the ones from this office coming out...” She pointed, imitated an expression of confusion and continued with laughter, “Going, ‘What’s going on?’ And Zak’s (Security One) even drove by like, ‘Why are the bells ringing at 11:30?’... The bells were the other giveaway that we had a pope, because they ring the bells (as if) we were in Rome.”

For many Maderans, the first “giveaway” that a new Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis of Argentina, had been elected came from much newer technology than bells.

“My husband (John) came out at lunch, turned on CNN and just at that moment the white smoke was going up. He hollers, ‘There’s a pope!’ So I go flying to the television set where I am riveted until the pope comes out and just sat in tears, absolutely in tears,” said Ellen Bryan, a volunteer at the bookstore. “It sort of gave me faith again in the church.”...


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