The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is iconic; it’s easily recognized by many around the world. It’s also an important landmark for the city of Paris, having been around since the 12th century. Beyond that, it’s an important place for the Roman Catholic Church. The massive fire that engulfed the cathedral Monday shocked the world, including Texans.
Bishop Curtis Guillory leads the Diocese of Beaumont. He says the fire cause him to reflect on his many visits to Notre Dame, especially his most recent in September.
“I went to Mass, and after that I spent quite a bit of time in prayer, reflecting and also spending some time [looking at] the art, the sculpture, the portraits, the rose stained glasses,” he says. “Art helps you to get beyond the superficial, beyond the surface.”
Guillory says his visits to Notre Dame gave him a sense of how much bigger the world is than oneself.
“There is a deep connectedness,” Guillory says. “[Notre Dame] is our mother, and appropriately so, that a mother wants to bring her children together.”
Guillory says the fire at Notre Dame brings a sense of sadness and hopelessness. But he also sees “divine providence” in some of the details.
“When the fire started, they had just closed the doors to visitors. It was the end of the day,” he says.
After the fire had been put out, Guillory says, candles that had previously been lit in the cathedral in memory of loved ones were still lit.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.