The president of the University of Notre Dame says the school will donate $100,000 toward the renovation of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral following a devastating fire.
The Rev. John Jenkins announced the donation Tuesday, a day after the fire destroyed the cathedral’s spire and roof.
The bells of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the university’s campus in South Bend, Indiana, tolled 50 times Tuesday evening to represent the 50 Hail Marys of the rosary and to mark the start of the cathedral’s rebuilding.
Jenkins says the cathedral’s “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.”
Besides their names, Notre Dame Cathedral and University of Notre Dame don’t share any direct connection, but they both have experienced devastating fires.
“Notre Dame has a historical empathy for this sort of thing,” Dennis Brown, University of Notre Dame spokesman told WSBT News in South Bend. “Our own main building burned to the ground in April 1879, and so 140 years ago this month we had a similar catastrophe.”
The university’s main building featuring the iconic golden dome now stands in that building’s place.
University officials now hope their donation to Paris’ cathedral will give it new life, similar to what they have experienced in South Bend.