Catholics pitch in to repair National Cathedral

September 1, 2011

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is donating
$25,000 to help repair the Washington National Cathedral, which
sustained millions of dollars in damage in the earthquake that rocked
the East Coast on Aug. 23.

"The National Cathedral holds a special place in the hearts of all
of us in Washington," said Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington.
"So many recognize it as a national house of prayer, and indeed its
magnificent Gothic spires are a reminder of our constant need to raise
our hearts in prayer to God in the midst of all our daily
preoccupations."

The Episcopal cathedral's central spires lost their ornate crowning
pieces and decorative angels during the 5.8 magnitude earthquake, which
also cracked the cathedral's flying buttresses.

Much of the repair work will fall to stone carvers, and is expected
to take years. Insurance will not pay for repairs, so the church is
seeking private donations.

Cathedral Dean Samuel Lloyd called the Catholics' gift "a testimony
to the fellowship that exists between people of different faiths."

The cathedral has been closed since the earthquake as crews install
safety nets and braces so that the building may reopen on Sept. 9. Two
days later, President Obama will speak at the cathedral to commemorate
the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

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