Father Kevin O’Brien on Notre Dame Fire: Terrible To See This Symbol of Faith in Flames

‘There’s something resilient about this building but more so something resilient about people’s faith’


O'BRIEN: “Yeah, I think, you know, this was a gut punch for a lot of Catholics, not just in France but around the world. You talk to folks here in the U.S., I’m on the West Coast, my friend in the East Coast, it was a gut punch because you hate to see the symbol of the Catholic Church go up in flames like this. But my business in Notre Dame, I think other people will attest, it's sort of what Ann said, when people go in there, whether they’re religious or not, their gaze is drawn heavenward. They look up at that beautiful arched ceiling. You touch transcendence there, you touch something otherworldly at Notre Dame. It calls all of us to something greater. So to see it in flames, I think it impacts us just as human beings because we know we’re meant for something greater and this beautiful cathedral represented that. To see that spire fall, and that spire I believe dates to the 19th century and they built it to sort of reach to the heavens, and then when we saw that spire fall in the flames, it hit you as a human being. But for me and others as a Catholic, especially during this Holy Week — but let me tell you, there is also something resilient. Joe recounted how long the — it has been about a thousand years this building has been here and it has been through a lot of ups and down throughout its history and the building remains. It will be rebuilt. There’s something resilient about this building, but more so something resilient about people’s faith. That’s what I’m attaching to now.”

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