PULLMAN – The chiming of bells were heard around the world, but not for something splendid. The Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames Monday surprising many Catholics around the world. Local Catholics at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Pullman see this fire as an open door to new perspectives that they hope to help other Catholics around the world see.
Students at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church were preparing for Holy Week when the news of the fire struck them by surprise.
“I was surprised and shocked to it and thought someone was joking when they told me.”
~Lucy Eggleston, president of Thomas More Newman Student Center.
The local congregants met throughout the week and describe the sadness, but also a sign that the Catholic Church needs to rebuild itself. Eggleston said, “Our students here love the faith and are praying that there is revival in France; because France has been hurting for so long and because people of the world are coming together for restoration within the Catholic Church.”
This iconic symbol of international Catholicism also doesn’t just hit the faith side of churchgoers, but also those fascinated by its historical relics. Father Lucas Tomson of St. Thomas More described his goal was to visit the Cathedral after a fellow missionary told him its splendor, but now that has been put on hold.
“I was looking forward to seeing the historical artifacts like the Crown of Thorns, thankfully it was saved, but others will never be the same fi I go now.”
~Father Lucas Tomson
As the country of France grapples with this tragedy, many locals see it as a time of hope and connection. The Thomas More Newman Student Center at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church are looking to ready its students to start extending prayers and start a revival of the Catholic faith.
“Many churches were burned with fire in ancient days, but they saw it as a time to destroy the old thoughts and a time to rebuild focusing on the foundation of the church and that is what we want to do here after this event.”
The church has started teaming up with international missionaries in the Catholic faith and are preparing plans on how to help each other out and how to keep France supported as they are oceans away. A grad student at Washington State University as well as a church congregant, Erika Serrano, stated that Catholics are family and that they do anything for each other, especially in times like this.
“We are Catholic, God is our Father, Mary is our Mother and Jesus is our Brother; we need to help each other like Jesus did to us; whether if it is donation or fundraising, but we just need to give the people of France our support.”
People like Lucy and Erika see this sadness, but also see the fire as a hopefulness to rebuild during a sacred time.
“Over all of this there is a supreme hope… yeah there is sadness, but there is a hopefulness in that restoration of the beauty.”
~ Lucy Eggleston
Over the last week, French President Macron restated that the Notre Dame Cathedral will be resurrected, but it will take over five years to do so and lots of money going into that restoration.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The video was aired on a previous LIVE broadcast.