Poor Chicago

Chicago has had a bad year.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Ohio Annie says:

    I just saw about the fire at the cathedral. So sad. I hope it was limited to the roof and there was “only” water damage.

  2. Sal says:

    Nice that Cardinal Bertone finally got around to saying something. Sandro Magister made a point of noting that Bertone was conspicuous by his absence and by the shambles in the Curia.

  3. cuaguy says:

    I just watched a tape of his Eminence’s press conference, and he said that the Blessed Sacrament was safely removed from the cathedral. He also said that as far as he understands it, the water damage to the Organ was minimal to nothing. Everything else, like the murals, ceilings, etc. all depend on the roof damage, until they can see behind them.


  4. John Enright says:

    My first thought on hearing about the fire was about the Blessed Sacrament. I’m very elated that proper steps were taken for a successful rescue. Now, however, I pray that the damage will be limited and easily repaired. I’m willing to donate to restore the Cathedral.

  5. jo says:

    What a tragic development. Maybe the good that will come of this will be a re-re-restoration of the space to a more traditional and original, hence a more beautiful setting. We can hope.

  6. jo says:

    It had been wreckovated aplenty.

  7. Steve says:

    This fire reminds me of the scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” where after the Ark of the Covenant was placed in a wooden crate and marked with Nazi symbols, the Ark later charred black the Nazi markings off of the wood.

    My point is that I think the old church is trying to purify itself. This beautiful Cathedral went thru a horrible and wretched renovation in the “Spirit of Vatican II” in 1969. The original stained glass windows, painted murals and carved wooden altars were removed and replaced with what some people think are Satanic images. They are at the least extremely ugly and alien looking.

    You can view the art in question at the following video:


    Hopefully the good parishoners will return this wonderful building to it’s former glory before the modernistic “wreckovation” of 1969.

  8. Peg says:

    I hope the fire was limited to the stained glass windows…they’re ugly!

  9. James says:

    Ha! It is truly awesome, that a product of the wonderful Newman Center at the University of Illinois (www.newmanfoundation.org) was the one who immediately thought to save the blessed Sacrament. Kudos to Fr. Matt Compton!

  10. Daniel Latinus says:

    The cathedral was closed during spring and summer last year because pieces of the ceiling were falling into the nave. And now this. Perhaps this may open the way for a decent and appropriate renovation of this cathedral.

    I like Steve’s assessment.

    I wonder what happened to the Galeros (red hats) of the deceased cardinals which were hanging over the sanctuary.

    (The galero of a deceased Cardinal is supposed to be hung over his tomb, or in his church, and remain there until it falls apart. An irreverent tale suggests that when the galero finally falls apart, its owner was finally released from Purgatory.)

  11. Charivari Rob says:

    Was anybody hurt?

  12. Michael Fudge says:

    From CNN.COM

    “Archdiocese officials said the five cardinals’ hats, or galeros, suspended from the ceiling were drenched but remain intact. Each hat had been raised after a cardinal’s death.”

  13. mary martha says:

    According to reports there was only one injury of a fireman who sprained his back.

    The Galeros are still there… just a bit wet. The media asked about them in the first press conference with the Cardinal.

    There are serious structural and design issues with the present Cathedral. The renovation in the late 60s wasn’t the worst… but it wasn’t very good either. Hopefully this will lead to an effort to rebuild the Cathedral to match the beauty of many of the other great Churches in Chicago.

  14. Charivari Rob says:

    mary martha – “According to reports there was only one injury of a fireman who sprained his back.”

    Thank you, mary martha.

  15. Dr. Mel-South Carolina says:

    I also was sorry to see the venerable Cathedral burn and was intrigued by Steve’scomments.

    The last time I was in Holy Name Cathedral was 1959, as a member of St. Cajetan’s elementary school’s boys choir. Our Parish was pitted against many other Parish choirs, including the much vaunted Vienna Boys Choir. The whispered “skinny” that circulated amoung us, was that the Austrian’s were in reality young men in their 20’s and 30’s who had been involuntarily castrated to retain their high soprano’s from becoming tenor’s/bassist’s. It probably explains why i didn’t pursue a singing career after that.

    Dr. Mel-South carolin

  16. Dan says:

    Poor HNC parishioners. First last year’s roof collapse and now this. We have a bit of a history, however, in our city, of rising from the ashes.

    It seems now that two years running our men will not be ordained in the Cathedral.

  17. Joseph Ravago says:

    As a member of the Metropolitan See of Chicago, I pray that His Emminence will use this time to restore the Cathedral to its glory and beauty, prior to the 60s “remodeling.”

  18. Joe says:

    I have been to Daily Mass at Holy Name Cathedral a few times when I was in Chicago in business. The term “wreckovation” is an understatement. I hope Cardinal George leads the effort to restore the Cathedral to its former self.

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