Most of us shared a terrible experience yesterday when the images of flames and smoke consuming the roof of France’s Cathedral of Notre Dame could not be avoided on television and social media. It was heart breaking. And that heart break is something we all shared.

As I write this blog, here is what we now know about the fire and the church. :

Investigators believe it was an accident involving the restoration work that was going on.

Three first responders were injured, but not seriously.

The church’s main structure had been saved. The two iconic 226-foot bell towers remained intact. The cathedral’s spire and two-thirds of the roofing were burned, however. 

A pair of the wealthiest men in France have already pledged a combined $339 million to rebuild.

I grew up attending an old and grand Catholic church. Its steeple was the only “skyscraper” our town knew. While it has been many years since I have been inside, I remember its quiet dignity and grace. I remember the sound of the kneelers being lowered to the floor. I can still smell the candles. As a child, it felt like the oldest building I would ever be in, and it was old by most standards. It was built in 1882. As I watched the coverage of the Notre Dame tragedy, I was also being refreshed with its incredible history. To think this majestic symbol of faith was built starting in 1160!

I have never been one with a bucket list. Everyone I know seems to have one filled with destinations they can't miss and sights they must see. After yesterday, I now have a bucket. There is but one item on the list.

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