Rapid City Priest reacts to Notre Dame Cathedral fire

RAPID CITY S.D. — On Tuesday morning, emergency crews and investigators picked up the charred pieces of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Millions across the globe watched in horror as the centuries-old church burned. With the world in the middle of Holy Week, leaders of the Catholic Faith in Rapid City say the damage to the iconic church is devastating.

Father Brian Christensen at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rapid City lived and studied in Paris for two years. While he was there, he would visit the Cathedral on a weekly basis.

“The iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in flames, it’s a sad reality to see that central piece of Catholicism in not only the faith of Franc,e but all of Europe being damaged in such a way,” he said.

This week is also Holy Week where people who practice the Catholicism celebrate Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.

Notre Dame was built in the 12th and 13th centuries. Father Christensen said that the architecture reflected the ambitions of the time. He says the cathedral was built to raise peoples hearts and minds to the heavens.

“The beautiful art that’s in there that takes your mind away from the daily activities of life and really raises you to what’s heavenly and eternal and everlasting, so to God,” he said. “That’s the experience you have as soon as you walk into Notre Dame, you’re overwhelmed by its beauty and its grandeur.”

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

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