WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Outside of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Northwest D.C. Monday's mass began with Cardinal Donald Wuerl offering condolences to the people of Paris and a with a song sung in French following a massive fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
Many people have memories of the Cathedral of Notre Dame from trips to Paris either as students or during vacations. Tourists from all over the world put the over 800-year-old cathedral on their bucket lists when visiting the "City of Lights."
FOX 5 spoke to a student who recently visited over spring break, a man who had an informal wedding ceremony at the altar and a Catholic University dean about their memories of the famous landmark and the sadness watching it burn.
"I think the windows are gorgeous and seeing the statue of Mary as the flames are in the background and just thinking about when I was there and how beautiful that statue was behind the blue of the sky. I just can't imagine what people are thinking," said American University student Hannah.
"It was just a beautiful, gorgeous experience to be married in the church of Notre Dame. Now, at that time, gay marriage wasn't legal but that's how we did it back then so in our minds that's where we were married at Notre Dame," said Tim Tate. "It means so much to so many people you know my heart goes out to everybody today.
"The stained glass windows were just so marvelous and I hope that some of them can be saved because it would really be a loss for the artistic world, for the cultural world, for the spiritual world," said Father Mark Morozowich of Catholic University. "It is a sign and a sense of the presence of God in Paris throughout history."
American Catholics are already raising funds to help rebuild Notre Dame with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception leading the effort.