PRESS RELEASE: Members of faith communities locally in Washington and across the country have rallied around Washington National Cathedral in its time of need following last week’s magnitude-5.8 earthquake. In the first gesture of a faith community’s financial support, Cardinal Donald Wuerl sent a check for $25,000 on behalf of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to help toward the costs of repair work.
This donation follows the hospitality offered by Washington Hebrew Congregation to use its sanctuary for the Cathedral’s Sunday worship—both this past Sunday and on Sunday, September 4—as stone masons and structural engineers implement measures to ensure safety in the Cathedral nave before reopening to the public on Friday, September 9, for the events commemorating the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.
“We are grateful to our neighbors of faith for their hospitality, generosity, and most importantly, their prayers, as we face the enormous challenge of restoring damaged areas of the Cathedral,” said Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III. “This gift from the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, a testimony to the fellowship that exists between people of different faiths, makes clear the bond we share. We are also grateful for the outpouring of support from faithful individuals across the country who have given generously in the aftermath of the earthquake. It is a great comfort as we begin to gather financial support for this endeavor, which we expect to reach into the millions of dollars.”
“It was with both shock and sadness that I learned of the damage sustained by Washington National Cathedral,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl. “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.”
“We can give thanks that no one was killed or seriously injured [at the National Cathedral] in this earthquake. I urge your prayers for all who visit, learn, and worship in the Episcopal Church’s and the nation’s central cathedral, as the damage is evaluated and repairs begin,” said the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, in a statement. “This worship space has been the site for presidential inaugural services and funerals, prayer services following national tragedies, and continues to be a house of prayer for all people.”
Additional hospitality has been offered by St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, the parish church on the grounds of the Cathedral; and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which hosted the dedication service of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial previously scheduled at the Cathedral.