YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In light of the tragic fire that engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral in France on Monday, Catholic priests around the world are reflecting on what many see as a pilgrimage site.
Youngstown Monsignor Robert Siffrin called it a monument to the faith and dedication of the French people.
“I always love to see what the church is doing in the different parts of the world, and of course Notre Dame is symbolic of the Catholic Church in France, so it happened the last time I was there. They just refurbished the bells and they were on display,” Siffrin said.
Monsignor Peter Polando, who also saw the bells, said he was saddened by Monday’s events.
“The cathedral is a magnificent sight, and to see what was happening yesterday was unbelievable,” Polando said.
He said the parishioners who call the cathedral their spiritual home can find comfort in their faith.
“Especially in our own Cathedral Church, we are in alignment with the one cathedral, which is Jesus Christ himself. That’s the main thing,” Polando said.
The priests of the Diocese of Youngstown know how the parishioners felt after the tragic loss.
“Very emotional, very upset, with the promise, with the hope that we’re going to rebuild and get back to the way it was before somehow,” said Monsignor James Kolp.
Kolp was at St. Columbia Cathedral when it burned in the 1950s.