Churches Ringing in Solidarity With Paris

SCRANTON, Pa.  -- Churches across our area are supporting the people of Paris following the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.

The bishop of the Diocese of Scranton asked parishes to participate in a show of support that sounded throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

St. Peter's Cathedral on Wyoming Avenue in Scranton is the mother church for the Diocese of Scranton. It's two bell towers ring every hour on the hour. Wednesday, they rang for five whole minutes in concert with churches across our area and around the world.

It doesn't take as much effort to ring the bells at St. Peter's as it used to. Just the flip of a switch to start its mechanical toll. But Wednesday afternoon, it was less about the effort and more about the message as the bells at St. Peter's rang from 12:50 p.m. to 12:55 p.m.

The bells rang during the same time of day that fire hit Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday severely damaging the medieval and iconic church.

"While we maintain and believe and protest that the church is not a building, and it's not, our houses of worship are important places to us because they are the environments in which we go to prayer, for solace, for comfort," Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said.

Bishop Bambera asked parishes to participate, too.

The Chapel of Christ the King at King's College in Wilkes-Barre rang its bells, as did the electronic bells atop Holy Cross Hall on campus. Newswatch 16 heard reports of parishes across the area ringing their bells.

"It's just a way for us to express our unity and our hope for them," Bishop Bambera added.

Just across the street from St. Peter's Cathedral, St. Luke's Episcopal Church rang its bells to show support for the Catholic Church.

"We have, over time, created beautiful spaces and places that hopefully stir our devotion and our worship and draw us in more deeply to experience the depth of our faith," St. Luke's Priest-in-Charge Mother Rebecca Barnes.

Mother Barnes said that St. Luke's burned back in 1891. The church in Scranton is proof that Notre Dame in Paris can also be rebuilt.

"It will have a new life, and it will go forward in a new and profound way, and of that I am sure," Mother Barnes added.

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