Nathan Laube, an organist at the Eastman School of Music, has played all over the world, including in the Notre Dame cathedral in 2017.
“It is the voice of that cathedral more than anything, those pipes, the sound that they make, it is the soul and voice of that cathedral. And the idea of losing that, of course, is tragic to me,” said Laube.
The structure took nearly 100 years to build and is almost 900 years old. Nathan says the loss is not just historical or religious, but a piece of world history that will be felt all over the planet.
“I’ve never felt this way in my life, I have to admit. And part of it is because the cathedral of Notre Dame is something that belongs to the whole world,” said Laube.
Hundreds of French firefighters were on scene Monday battling the flames. The iconic spiral tower along with the roof of the building went down in flames, but the structural integrity of the building was saved along with the bell towers.
Professor Timothy Thibodeau was saddened by the destruction of the roof, which he says was the first thing he looked at when he visited the historical landmark.
“The first time I went there, many years ago, I was in awe and the first thing everyone does is look straight up at the magnificent vaulted ceilings,” said Timothy Thibodeau, History and Political Science Professor at Nazareth College.
The cathedral was the sight of many world events, including a celebration at the end of War World one and the crowning of King Henry the VI of England in 1431
“It survived two war worlds without a scratch. It survived the French revolution and then to have it all come down like this because of an accidental fire, it’s very devasting,” said Thibodeau.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester released this statement in response to the incident,
“Notre Dame Cathedral is a beloved, iconic church that for centuries has been a place and source of inspiration for the faithful. We are deeply saddened by the tragic fire and offer our prayers for the people of Paris, for the safety of firefighters and emergency workers battling the blaze and for all throughout the world who hold this beautiful Cathedral dear. We take heart in the statement today by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: “We are a people of hope and of the resurrection, and as devastating as this fire is, I know that the faith and love embodied by this magnificent Cathedral will grow stronger in the hearts of all Christians.”
May Our Blessed Mother, Notre Dame, intercede for us in this time of trial as we contemplate her strength at the foot of the Cross this Holy Week.”