In a gesture of marvelous ecumenical solidarity, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has donated $25,000 to the Washington National Cathedral (which is Episcopal) to help repair the damage done by the earthquake in late August.
In sending the gift, Cardinal Donald Wuerl said, "It was with both shock and sadness that I learned of the damage sustained by Washington National Cathedral. The National Cathedral holds a special place in the hearts of all of us in Washington. So many recognize it as a national house of prayer, and indeed its magnificent Gothic towers are a reminder of our constant need to raise our hearts in prayer to God in the midst of all of our daily preoccupations."
Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III responded, "This gift from the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is a testimony to the fellowship that exists between people of different faiths; it makes clear the bond we share…" Repairs are expected to run into millions of dollars.
The National Cathedral is, in a cultural sense, the "official house of prayer" for national events in Washington, DC. It is where presidents hold their inaugural prayer services and where the nation gathered for prayer after 9/11.
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In addition, the Washington Hebrew Congregation offered hospitality -- the use of its sanctuary -- for the Cathedral's Sunday worship -- both this past Sunday and on Sunday, September 4 -- as stone masons and structural engineers work to ensure safety in the Cathedral nave before its projected reopening on Friday, Sept. 9, for the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
In another Catholic gesture of ecumenical solidarity, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception hosted the dedication service of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial previously scheduled at the Cathedral.
Updated information regarding repair efforts and reports on the extent of damages incurred to the National Cathedral may be found at www.dcquake.nationalcathedral.org.