Like many other religious communities, Viatorians draw their roots from 19th Century France. Fr. Louis Querbes founded the congregation in Vourles, in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Consequently, the

(Photo by Associate Karen Cutler)

fire at Notre Dame Cathedral tears at the heart of the people of Paris — and around the world — including Viatorians.

Here is a statement from Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, who visited Notre Dame in September, after traveling to France for the installation of Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, as Superior General.

“On Monday afternoon people all over the world looked with growing horror and disbelief as one of humanity’s most important symbols of faith and courage, Notre Dame Cathedral, burned in the center of Paris.

Many of the cathedral’s artifacts and stained glass windows survived the fire. (Photo by Associate Karen Cutler)

“As a witness to almost a millennium of history — through its art and architecture — the Cathedral of Notre Dame evokes for believers the loving and beautiful presence of God in the midst of a turbulent city.

(Photo by Fr. Mark Francis)

“In drawing back to our French origins, we as Viatorians are united in prayer with the people of Paris, all of France and those of goodwill, giving thanks to God that no one was injured in putting out the fire.

“We are also in solidarity with the Archbishop of Paris,  and President Macron of France as they call for a rebuilding of this extraordinary monument.

“We are confident that the ancient motto of the island city of Paris is still true: ‘fluctuat nec mergitur,’ or ‘buffetted by the waves, it does not sink.’ ”