Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, issued the following statement about the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris:
“We are deeply saddened to see the damage to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, a church whose exquisite Gothic architecture has for centuries raised hearts and minds to God. We join in prayer with the faithful of the cathedral and all of France as they begin the work of rebuilding. We are reminded of the words of our founder, Holy Cross Father Edward Sorin, a French immigrant, who, after a terrible fire destroyed our campus in 1879, said:
‘Tomorrow we will begin again and build it bigger, and when it is built, we will put a gold dome on top with a golden statue of the Mother of God so that everyone who comes this way will know to whom we owe whatever great future this place has.’”
At the direction of Father Jenkins, the University will donate $100,000 toward the renovation of the cathedral. In addition, the bells of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus will toll 50 times — representing the 50 Hail Marys of Our Lady’s rosary — at 6 p.m. Tuesday (April 16) to mark the start of the rebuilding process for the cathedral.