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Cantus Wrote:Oh man, this is never good.,4644...0.html#1_0

God will not be mocked.
Wow, I was there just a couple Sundays ago for the Chicago March for Life.
I agree wholeheartedly.  Hopefully this wasn't arson or the person(s) involved with have hell to pay, LITERALLY!!!!

From the pictures, it looks like the inside of the cathedral is pretty much gone and part of an exterior wall as well. I'd guess what happened to the exterior wall is that wooden doors burned and the masonry wall above them collapsed. It's very sad to see an old cathedral burning, especially knowing that the aftermath will probably be to tear it down and build an ugly new cathedral, because that will be cheaper than restoration.

Italy has laws against tearing down historic properties so they are restored unless truly beyond restoration. I think other countries in the EU have similar laws. In the US, there is an attitude that if a building is twenty or thirty years old, we should tear it down and build a new one. What makes it sadder still is the lack of care for historic buildings that have been standing fare more than twenty or thirty years.
I put this in Prayer Requests

Cleanup starts after Holy Name fire
February 4, 2009 12:04 PM | 67 Comments | BREAKING STORY

Firefighters battle the fire at Holy Name Cathedral. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune)

When it was over at Holy Name Cathedral, water poured down from pillars, and firefighters swept cascades of water from the nave.

The five red, broad-brimmed cardinals' hats, or galeros, suspended from the ceiling, were soaked but otherwise appeared intact, according to one church official. Each of those hats was raised to the ceiling on a cardinal's death.

Perhaps amazingly, the extra-alarm blaze that caused extensive damage to the cathedral's roof and attic this morning spared the sanctuary. However, the water used to fight the fire--from firefighters' hoses and from the cathedral's own sprinkler system--wrought considerable damage.

At 10:15 a.m., a Tribune reporter walking inside the church could observe from the foyer that the sanctuary appeared in good condition.

The dark wood-paneled ceiling was in place as were the stone vaults below it.

Hard-hatted inspectors, meanwhile, gazed upwards toward the ceiling. A large hole, chopped in by firefighters to pour water on the blaze, was visible on the north side of the church's cross-shaped roof.

Cardinal Francis George said the cathedral's roof probably would have to be rebuilt and noted considerable water damage inside. But "Chicago has always bounced back from fires and I think we'll bounce back from this," the cardinal said as he left the church.


"The boys saved the church, that's for sure," said Deputy Fire District Chief Tony Romano of his firefighters. "We don't save too many of them."

The fire appeared to have been related to a major renovation project, although officials said they still didn't know the cause. Work was being done on pillars in the cathedral and on some deteriorating wood high in the rafters, according to Jimmy Lago, chancellor of the Chicago Archdiocese. The fire was called in by one of those workers.

As the blaze was being battled, heavy water could be seen falling into the altar area of the church from the roof where the flames seemed to have been concentrated. The cathedral's sprinkler system also activated.

Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said the sanctuary floor in front of the altar area was flooded with several inches of water, but the actual altar area was not damaged.

At 8:20 a.m., Langford said the decorative ceiling inside the cathedral "looks good.The lights are still on inside."

He also said water was coming down toward the entrance to the church toward State Street, but "it has tapered off quite a bit."

"It was an excellent stop by the firemen. It's very difficult to stop a fire like this from spreading, but they did it," Langford said.

It took firefighters more than 2 1/2 hours to put the blaze out at the cathedral, 735 N. State St. The fire started about 5:30 a.m. and was under control at 7:30 a.m. It was declared out 30 minutes after that.

George entered the church shortly after 8 a.m.

As he left the cathedral, the cardinal said he got a call just before 6 a.m. about the fire. He said when he first arrived, everything looked fine. But when he took a closer look inside, he noticed the icicles on the pews, water trickling down from the roof and onto light and electrical fixtures.

One of the church officials said the blessed sacrament or Eucharist, which Catholics say is the body of Christ, was removed. Another church official was concerned about marriage and birth records from the 1800s that were stored in a fireproof vault in the rectory. Although the rectory was evacuated, that official said, it was not damaged.

The cathedral won't have to be rebuilt, George said, but the roof will probably have to be.

George said "my first thought was the cathedral parish has suffered very much. It'll bounce back."

Church officials said parishioners have been praying in the auditorium at Frances Xavier Warde School next door since the fire broke out. They said the pastor will let parishioners know about further arrangements.

The fire started in an attic area where major repairs were being made. The cathedral had been closed for six months to undergo major structural repairs and had only reopened at the end of August, church officials noted. The current work was being done on support beams.

The fire promised to bring considerable disruption to the parish and the cathedral. "We're back to Square One again right now," said church pastor Rev. Dan Mayall.

Mayall said he was asleep in the rectory when he was awakened by a priest who heard a fire alarm go off. Mayall said everyone inside the rectory and school, which are separate buildings, was safe.

Larry Ligas, a parishioner at the church for 10 years, said his wife, Lisa, was "in tears" when the couple heard about the fire.

He said was talking about wedding plans with a friend last night, suggesting he get married at the cathedral.

"This just adds to the heartbreak, because we'd love to see our [10-year-old] son in the wedding" Ligas said in a telephone interview this morning. "It's a huge setback for all the parishioners for the Archdiocese.

It's not just a Catholic church, it's part of Chicago."

Fire Cmdr. Will Knight said the fire was located in the cockloft, or pitched area of the roof.

Up to a dozen fire trucks were on the scene of the extra-alarm blaze at State and Superior Streets. Officials said a fireifghter suffered a sprained back while battling the blaze. No one else was hurt, although some priests and nuns were inside the cathedral at the time of the fire.

Firefighters used a chainsaw to cut down a tree on the property to give them better access.

Street closures were in effect from Chicago Avenue to Huron Street and Wabash Avenue to Dearborn Street. CTA State Street buses were being rerouted.

Classes were canceled at the Holy Name and Old St. Patrick's campuses of Frances Xavier Warde.

Holy Name is the seat of the Archdiocese. After the fire of 1871 destroyed the former Holy Name Church, Bishop Thomas Foley resolved to build a spectacular replacement. Brooklyn architect Patrick Charles Keely designed the Gothic structure, and the cornerstone was laid on July 19, 1874.

--Dan P. Blake, Jeremy Gorner, Noreen Ahmed-Ullah and Blair Kamin

It's great news that they can and will repair it. Thanks be to God.
I'm saddened by this setback, and I hope the new rebuilding of the roof will bring with it a greater dedication to the faith.  I am actually good friends with one of the writers of the Chicago Tribune report.  He is not Catholic.  I will have to take him to task for saying that the Host is merely "the body of Christ", rather than the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. 

Holy Name Cathedral's Pastor, Rev. Dan Mayall is tough as old boots and has the fire and brimstone preaching style every now and again. Several years ago on Ash Wednesday, he said the Mass and was shouting to the congregation that they are not to receive the ashes if they are not willing to fight for The Faith. He said things like "THESE ASHES MAKE THE DEVIL TREMBLE" and "IF YOU AREN'T WILLING TO FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT DO NOT COME UP HERE. YOU ARE FREE TO LEAVE." and "THESE ASHES ARE YOUR TESTIMONY." It was an experience I'll never forget.

JonW Wrote:I will have to take him to task for saying that the Host is merely "the body of Christ", rather than the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

It's a miracle he actually wrote that. I was hoping something more in the lines of "representing the body of Christ", a prevalent heresy that plagues the Church and the world.
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