St. John the Divine Carries on After Palm Sunday Fire

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WPCNR LETTER TICKER. From a White Plains CitizeNetReporter. April 15, 2019:

From the Archdiocese of New York

By now you may have heard that a fire broke out in the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine yesterday morning, and was discovered between the 9:00 and 11:00 Palm Sunday services. 

The fire was located in a closed room in the undercroft of the cathedral, and is at this time still of unknown cause. It seems clear that it was not electrical and there are no indications of arson. The fire was quickly contained and extinguished, damage was relatively minor, and over the course of the day large fans and open doors cleared the cathedral itself of the lingering smoke. 

 With an extraordinary display of organization, in a matter of only fifteen minutes an altar and cross were set up on the pulpit green, hundreds of chairs were set up, a sound system was produced, vestments and eucharistic vessels and bread and wine were gathered, and with the full choir and the sung Passion Gospel and the sound of firefighters in the background we held the Palm Sunday service outside on the lawn.

 Maybe sometimes your house has to catch on fire to show what matters and what doesn’t, and yesterday taught us many things.  Dean Daniel has concluded that tomorrow’s liturgy for the clergy renewal of ordination vows will take place in the cathedral as planned, and there will be no obstacle to the Triduum and Easter services taking place at our altar later this week. 

The CitizeNetReporter in his comments forwarding the letter from the Archdiocese remarked:

” I saw this report (from the Archdiocese) this morning and as horrible as it was, with the ultimate outcome not as tragic as what happened today in Paris, with what occurred at Notre Dame Cathedral, but it pointed out how vulnerable these structures are.   The loss of the physical structure is heartbreaking for all the history of what these institutions stand for to all humanity.  “

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