Bishop Tobin offers message of hope amid Notre Dame fire, Sri Lanka bombings


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Holy week got off to a somber start with the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and ended Easter Sunday with the horrific attacks in Sri Lanka.

“We should never be discouraged, we should never give up,” Bishop Thomas Tobin urged people not to lose hope in the wake of tragedy.

“Two very disturbing events but in the middle of these two bookends stood the story of Jesus, of his suffering of his death, and of his resurrection,” Tobin told parishioners in the packed Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence Sunday morning, soon after the world learned of bombings that killed hundreds of people in Sri Lanka earlier in the day.

“I’m sure it was by design whoever planned and carried out these attacks, certainly it was no accident that it took place on Easter Sunday when so many Catholics and so many Christians were gathered together in joyful prayer.  It just adds to the irony and the tragedy of the moment,” Tobin said.

The attacks came nearly a week after the Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames. Tobin spoke about the fire in his Easter homily, comparing what happens next for the cathedral to what happened after Jesus’ death.

“Even now the process of rebuilding and renewal has begun. And that’s the message of the resurrection, isn’t it? That even from the midst of death and sorrow can come new life and hope. Easter reminds all of us that we have a chance to make a new beginning,” Tobin said.

France’s president has vowed to rebuild Notre Dame within five years, though some say it will likely take longer.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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