Bishop San recently sent the following letter to Father James Nash, Pastor at St. Peter & St. Paul Catholic Parish in Easton. May it serve as comfort and prayer to all those who share in our grief.
Dear Fr. Nash
On this Solemn Holy Week in our common Christian life and discipline, I write on behalf of the Episcopal family on the eastern shore to share our profound grief and solidarity with you on the tragic losses by fire suffered by the world renowned and revered Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France.
This global icon, symbolic of Christian witness, stands as a remarkable monument of the enduring fortitude and transformative power of the faith of the people of God across the centuries. It has witnessed and withstood the many changing vicissitudes in the human enterprise – from war, conquest, freedom, celebration and glory from as early as the 13th century. It is a faithful symbol of the redemptive presence of Jesus throughout the world, and a magnificent testament of Christ’s victory over evil and his ongoing love for the human person.
I know this tragic event could never undermine the spirit of our Catholic brothers or sisters. Instead it provides for all of us a time of reflection and solemn pause. In this Holy Week of our Lord’s Passion we remember that out of the ashes of death and destruction comes new life, new hope and new possibilities. We are confident that it will be rebuilt to its former resplendent glory. In these first few days however, we, along with the people of France, and all Christians, are reminded to take time in a moment of solemn prayer and reflection to consider anew God’s profound message. It is a time for us to recall and witness the power of God’s redemptive love transforming chaos into hope, death into life and resurrection victory over the tomb.
Once again, we stand in solidarity and our prayers remain with the Catholic family across the world, the USA, France and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Every blessing during this very Solemn Week of our common life!
Together in Christ’s service,
The Right Rev. Santosh K. Marray
XI Bishop of Easton