Amid the devastating fire taking place at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento has issued the following statement:
“This destructive fire at the historic treasure and divine haven of mercy tears at our hearts. The iconic cathedral dedicated to Our Lady, Notre Dame, has stood as a stalwart citadel of faith for centuries. This tragic moment, coming as it does during Holy Week, is another test of that faith, but let us remember that it is the enduring grace of Jesus that has been and will be foundation and buttress of the Church.”
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement to the people of Paris:
“The horrific fire that is engulfing the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris is shocking and saddens us all, for this particular cathedral is not only a majestic Church, it is also a world treasure. Noble in architecture and art, it has long been a symbol of the transcendent human spirit as well as our longing for God. Our hearts go out to the Archbishop and the people of Paris, and we pray for all the people of France, entrusting all to the prayers and intercession of the Mother of God, especially the firefighters battling the fire. We are a people of hope and of the resurrection, and as devastating as this fire is, I know that the faith and love embodied by this magnificent Cathedral will grow stronger in the hearts of all Christians.”
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. has set up a fund to help the historic Notre Dame Cathedral resurrect and rebuild. In a letter to the U.S. bishops, Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on National Collections, said the shrine, whose board members consist of the administrative Committee of the USCCB, has the infrastructure to manage donated funds and established relationships to provide the necessary and appropriate due diligence on the distribution of funds. All proceeds received will be used solely for the assistance of Notre Dame Cathedral and those affected by the tragedy.
In an April 17 letter to pastors, parochial administrators, deacons, school and parish staff, Bishop Jaime Soto said he is allowing parishes to take up a to take up a special collection for the Notre Dame Fund during the month of May. Parish participation is optional. The proceeds from any parish collection will be sent to the diocesan finance office, which will then send one cumulative donation from the Diocese of Sacramento.
Those who wish to make an online contribution may visit www.SupportNotreDame.org, a website solely dedicated to this cause. Individuals may also send donations directly to: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Attn: Msgr. Walter Rossi, Rector, 400 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20017. Checks should be made payable to the “Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception”; indicate “Cathedral of Notre Dame Fund” in the memo portion of the check.
In photo above, fire rages at Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris, April 15, 2019. FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images. (Photo courtesy of Catholic News Agency)