Chicago Archdiocese Church Bells Ring To Honor Notre Dame
Update at 3:15 p.m.
Chicago Archdiocese churches rang their bells late Wednesday morning to show solidarity with France as it mourns the fire damage to Notre Dame Cathedral.
Cardinal Blase Cupich asked churches to ring bells at 11:50 a.m., the time in Chicago when the landmark cathedral in Paris began burning on Monday. Holy Name Cathedral at 735 N. State St. was among the churches participating, ringing for about five minutes.
Churches in Chicago were not alone in ringing their bells. The Bishops’ Conference of France called on all cathedrals of France to ring their bells at 6:50 p.m. local time.
In a statement, the Chicago Archdiocese said local Catholics are “praying for the people of Paris, the parishioners of Notre-Dame, the Catholics of the city, their archbishop, and all French people, as we watch this terrible tragedy unfold.”
The blaze at Notre Dame destroyed its roof and iconic spire. French authorities believe the fire to be an accident.
Donations to repair the cathedral have poured in, reaching nearly $1 billion. Notre Dame’s rector said he will close the cathedral for up to six years.
Some of those who attended mass at Holy Name remember visiting the cathedral in France years ago.
Peggy Deluca said she remembers the beauty of the building’s exterior.
“We had the joy of visiting there years ago,” Deluca said. “It’s just sad to see that that something like that is taken away from some people who haven’t had the chance to see how wonderful it is and how important it is.”
Fernand Dudile said he felt a special kinship with the cathedral because of his French heritage. He said he was shocked by the burning.
“It was so awful to see centuries of beauty and architecture and art so deeply threatened,” Dudile said.
The Associated Press contributed.
Blair Paddock is a news intern for WBEZ. Follow them @blairpaddock.