Fundraising idea for #NotreDame

I’ve been chatting with a friend.  Here’s an idea.

Those who are responsible for Notre Dame Cathedral might sell cubes of charred wood and vault from the burned roof.   Say, 1 cm (5 cm for a lot more).   This would give non-billionaires the chance to participate in the restoration.

Of course, the fabric of the building must be fixed before anything else can be done.

Our forebears gave their “widows mites” for the building of the cathedral in the first place.  Why not do it again, from all over the world.

Who would not want a small piece of these ancient and significant timbers?


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I’d definitely buy one! I just really hope their restorations are truly going to restorations and not wreckovations.

  2. frjimt says:

    … newt Gingrich and his wife have started a campaign to support the rebuilding…

  3. roma247 says:

    I’m with you, MaHrad, they’ve already announced a competition to “redesign” the spire. As if anyone nowadays could outdo Viollet-le-duc…

    What is really needed is a petition for the people of Paris, of France, and of the Christian World to stand up and demand that this important bulwark of FIRST Christian, THEN Cultural Heritage be restored to its pre-fire condition. Something this important is too important to be tampered with and “modernized.”

  4. Longinus says:

    I am more than willing to donate but this gives me pause lest we find a monstrosity sitting above the ancient cathedral:
    France is to invite architects from around the world to submit their designs for a new spire to sit atop a renovated Notre-Dame cathedral. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told reporters they hoped for “a new spire that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era”.

  5. MissBee says:

    I was thinking of something similar, and would love to have a vial of ashes from the Cathedral.

    Father Z, how does one dispose of the burned remnants, do they need to be de-consecrated?

  6. Ellen says:

    Using modern techniques is good, but I pray they don’t inflict a hideous monstrosity on us. I’d love to have a cube of wood from the Cathedral.

  7. brasscow says:

    I’d pay for that. But I’d first want assurances that I am not donating money for them to de-Catholocize it and turn the new space in to a modern multicultural center.

  8. Diana says:

    I LOVE that idea!! I’m in!

  9. JustaSinner says:

    Like to get a few…thinking beads and a cross of the wood for a rosary.

  10. The Astronomer says:

    I also hoping that when the Middle East Sunni Muslim monarchies pony up via UNESCO, they don’t exert ‘ecumenical pressure’ to consider the sensibilities of the millions of Muslims living in France in the restoration design. (There, a careful way of saying “No mosque, thank you…”

    Given the dhimmi attitudes Macron and his elitist pals, including in the Holy See, often display, capitulation in the name of ‘diversity’ wouldn’t be a surprise…

  11. acardnal says:

    Trivia: A medieval art historian stated during a radio interview that Notre Dame is NOT owned by the Catholic Church any more but by the state. I did not know that.

  12. THREEHEARTS says:

    mike hurcum writes
    Notre Dame burnt and the Catholic world is on fire with a vibrant faith.
    I want to ask all catholics this question, “Who is going to pay for the rebuilding and where are the relics and images or what those outside Catholicism would call property and assets stored? They have been grabbed by the state and removed from the Cathedral and are no longer ipso facto ours and I hazard a guess are never likely to be again. A simple annexation under french law will make it so. The French President, low in ratings, is likely to see this as an opportunity to regain his popularity and will fly with popular opinion and will not let these French Treasures, belonging to the people of France slip from his grasp. He is already asking I read for a competition world wide for new designs for a church spire. Are we to see a muslim tower paid for by them rising above what once was a Catholic Church? Imagine the outcry now the door is opened from world organizations if the church refuses the design. He will, with the support of muslims and others who oppose religion of any kind, not allow french money to be used for Catholics alone, The rebuilt cathedral will be ecumenical and will even host muslim prayer meetings. Wait and see! Will this pope complain it will suit his program to be seem washing the grand mufti’s feet in what used to be a former french basilica.
    Our only hope is for us to fund it ourselves.

  13. Jacob says:

    I wouldn’t mind a rosary made from a roof beam. :) Properly blessed of course, not from the Book of Blessings with happy water.

  14. Charivari Rob says:

    Yes. One article I saw went into a little detail about it – said the State there owns any church buildings that predate 1905.

  15. acardnal says:

    Thanks, Charivari Rob. I was unaware.

  16. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    There are multiple ways a block of wood a vial of ashes that can be worn as a necklace or keychain.
    One of the things I have is small plastic replica of a stain glass window. A window cling. I wish there were more of this to place on windows or surfaces.
    Keep the publics red money and large non-Catholic and non-christian money out of it and a group that can be considered honorable with the spending of the money.
    I hate to bring up “the broken window” and ” the forgotten man” , but this can bring a lot of attention and understanding to Catholic art.

  17. Lusp says:

    Great idea father! I’d love to participate, but if they don’t restore it to it’s original state, I’ll want my $ back. To me the only valid point of contention is whether or not to have a spire from here on out. A piece of rubble would be a great thing to show my grandchildren some day, God willing. I’ve read that when they repaired the Cathedral in the 1800’s they had to to relearn the lost techniques from the “dark” ages and that we would actually have to relearn them yet again, if we wanted to restore it exactly as it was originally built, but I pray they take the time to actually do that, not use modern building techniques.

  18. Sword40 says:

    While the French are spending their tax-payers money, why don’t they visit the Pacific Northwest, where there is still a possibility of finding enough very large timbers to restore the roof? Most mills here are no longer capable of milling the large logs and so they just sit in the forest waiting to die of old age.

  19. APX says:

    Apparently officials are proposing an architectural contest to design the new sphere.

  20. Semper Gumby says:

    Count me in.

    Deo volente, wiser minds will prevail and the rebuilding of Notre Dame will not be a monument to the City of Man.

    A few years ago George Weigel wrote a book “The Cube and the Cathedral” which compared the Cathedral of Notre Dame to the 20th century’s La Grande Arche- a cube. The book is a reflection on not only Paris but Europe, and on civilizational morale.

    If I recall, my paperback copy displayed a photo of both the Cathedral and the Cube on the cover. One photo speaks to the dignity of Man and rebukes predatory Islamism and rampant secularism, the other does not. The book was the result of an essay in Commentary magazine. Never read the essay, but here is a link:

  21. lifelong Catholic says:

    I watched Michael Hichborn speak about the danger of what Notre Dame Cathedral may become in the rebuilding. My questions: Will it be a “modernist” cathedral with “diverse” religions/anti-religion depicted or will it be a truly “Catholic” Cathedral once again? How will donations from “diverse” sources affect what it becomes?

  22. mibethda says:

    Offering pieces of charred wood sounds like an excellent idea. An even bolder one – auction the ‘new’ altar to the highest bidder.

  23. Glennonite says:

    What are your thoughts on which altar the debris landed upon…and which altar was spared?

  24. Charles E Flynn says:

    This Wikipedia article is about the law under which churches in France built before 1905 were confiscated by the government:

    1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State

    Needless to say, Pope Pius X (a practicing Catholic) was not amused:



  25. Charivari Rob says:

    One belated thought…

    It is possible that these relics/souvenirs/memento mori (whatever term best suits) would have to be encased (or else cleaned to the point of being unrecognizable) to be safe.

    The wood fragments would possibly have creosote/carcinogens (from the fire and possibly from materials in their original preparation/use) as well as traces of toxic materials (part of the roof was lead, and again whatever materials in their original preparation/use).

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