Second Largest Church In Paris Hosts Chrism Mass Following Notre Dame Fire

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By Michelle Powers

Though the blaze broke out two days ago, you can still smell the smoke outside of the Notre Dame Cathedral and see the charred remains and burns on stone. Notre Dame looks like a skeleton in the heart of Paris.

Many onlookers are here for the very first time, making their way through blocked off streets and barriers to pay their respects for what was lost and to thank God for what remains.

Some Parisians, can’t help but come back day after day. “I can’t leave this place. I’m sticking here. Notre Dame is Paris, I think. Even if you’re not Catholic,” one Paris resident told us.

Another couple from Long Island, NY who saw the inside of Notre Dame last week tells us they consider themselves the lucky ones, saying “It’s very sad. It breaks my heart,” the wife said. He husband added “something that’s lasted this many centuries and to see it go up like that, it’s devastating.”

The Archdiocese of Paris’ Chrism Mass was scheduled to take place at the Notre Dame, as were many other Holy Week events. Now that mass is being held tonight at Saint-Sulpice, less than a mile away and Paris’ second largest church.

“This is special,” one man told us. “Normally this Mass is in Notre Dame and because of the fire it can’t be there. All these people are homeless! So, then they come here, just to be together,” he added.

The Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, says this Chrism Mass is an opportunity for the faithful to feel empowered to not only rebuild Notre Dame, but to reconstruct the face of the Catholic Church.