France, Catholic Population Devastated After Notre Dame Inferno


Zoe Boswinkle, Reporter

On April 15, 2019, the Norte-Dame Cathedral caught fire. According to, “The fire began at around 18:30 (16:30 GMT) and quickly reached the roof of the cathedral, destroying its stained-glass windows and the wooden interior before toppling the spire.”

The officials in Paris say the cause of the fire is still unknown but the fire could possibly be linked to the renovation work the Cathedral was undergoing. Although the loss of the Cathedral’s roof is saddening, the altar and the citizens’ hope, remained untouched. The firefighters were able to save important artifacts such as the Crown Of Thorns, the Tunic of Saint Louis, and the Weather Vane. Although no one died, one firefighter was injured in the line of duty.

“The impact of Notre Dame burning depends upon whom you ask. For Catholics, it seems to be how close it came to losing cherished relics that are irreplaceable, such as the piece of the Crown of Thorns and the tunic Jesus was reported to have worn before his crucifixion. For the citizens of France, which is overwhelmingly Catholic, Notre Dame is seen as the heart of Paris and the entity that enables everyone to exist together, regardless of personal differences. I read an interview in which one historian said how Notre Dame is not simply Notre Dame, it is France and French history. I believe it’s important for students and adults to take time to contemplate what it took for humans centuries ago to construct these amazing monuments. Studying how previous generations engineered their cities allows us to improve on what didn’t work well, in addition to implementing the good ideas. Notre Dame also demonstrates what can be achieved when a community works together for the good of their city and country. While architects designed the cathedral, it was the parishioners of the cathedral who volunteered the labor to build it because they so fully believed in the good of the project. Their collaboration transcends religion: this accomplishment proves that humans can put aside their differences to achieve something incredible,” French teacher Madame Hageman.

“I think it’s a very emotional thing to see such an important structure in history and how art can be destroyed. It’s important how it brought concerned people together to raise money to fix the Cathedral. It shows how we’re capable of doing the same with other issues that we are dealing with in the world,” said senior Brianna Quintana.

Paris’ citizens are coming together through the loss of this historical building and working together to mend the building and their city. Wealthy families in France have pledged over $1 billion toward the rebuilding of the Cathedral, which is a start towards reconstructing the Cathedral’s roof.