Our Lady of Christchurch

The recent after-shocks in Christchurch have brought back to mind the terrible damage inflicted on that city by the earthquake in February.

The Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament was badly battered by the February quake and stands as a pained memorial to the dead and the hole in the lives of the living, who are unable to re-enter the worst affected part of the city.

Before the quake the Cathedral was a fine looking Renaissance styled building:

Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Before the Quake

The February quake smashed a building that had already been weakened by the bigger quake of September 2010:

The Aftermath

The Cathedral is currently considered to be unsafe for people to enter, but the scale of the internal damage can be seen from this remote-controlled camera footage:

For the moment, the future of the Cathedral, as with the rest of the historic centre of Christchurch, is uncertain.

As the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer have already pointed out, even among the rubble, Our Lady has proffered us a sign of her concern for us and a sign of hope for all Christians in adversity:

Our Lady of Christchurch

Please keep the people of Christchurch in your prayers.

Our Lady of Christchurch, pray for us.

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7 Responses to Our Lady of Christchurch

  1. joyfulpapist says:

    The statue of Our Lady turned 180 degrees in the February quake – which was the one with the biggest loss of life. Prior to February, she was looking out into the church. After the quake, she was looking out the window over Christchurch.
    Since last Monday’s two quakes, which killed one man, injured 45, and caused further damage to many buildings including the cathedral, its future is even more uncertain. This report from the Cathedral Management Board is dated yesterday. They still hope to save the nave, but will only be able to tell whether that is possible when they’ve removed the dome, the towers, and the roof so they can get inside safely.
    To date, there have been more than 7350 aftershocks since the first big earthquake in September. Every large shock sets off another sequence of minor shocks, and the three biggest quakes have all been on different, previously unknown, fault lines. People are getting very tired of it all. Reports say that they’re exhibiting the signs of stress usually seen only in war zones.

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  2. toadspittle says:

    .
    These things are a matter of taste, but Toad thinks the building is architecturally hideous. The smaller domes don’t ‘fit’ properly, for one thing.

    And the statue is everything that is awful about modern religious ‘art.’ (Toad thinks)
    If Gil de Siloe was alive today, he’d be spinning in his grave..

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  3. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Spookily, Toad may be right, and tuned in to forces of which we know little. I think we should be told.

    I remember a long time ago chuckling at superstitious Anglicans who said that a fire in York Cathedral was God’s judgement on a controversial Archbishop.

    But reading of this earthquake and its result in demolishing a dodgy building, well now I’m laughing on the other side of my face, (an expression I dont understand actually).

    No mention of the earthquake in Japan, I see, with 20,000 dead.

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  4. The Raven says:

    My own preference is for “Pointy Pugin” rather than baroque or renaissance, but the people of Chirstchurch liked their cathedral and, from what I have read, seem sorry that it has suffered quite so badly in the recent earthquakes.

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  5. joyfulpapist says:

    181 people died in the February quake, Mr Whippy, and one more last Monday. I agree that 182 people doesn’t compare with the 15,457 dead after the Tohoku quake and tsunami, but it is still a big death toll for our small nation.
    As Raven says, the people of Christchurch have fond memories of their cathedral. I personally thought it a monstrosity, but I respect their feelings.

    Just for you, though, here’s an article about the work of Caritas in supporting the people of Japan. You might want to donate. http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=18390

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  6. toadspittle says:

    “I personally thought it (the cathedral) a monstrosity, but I respect their feelings.”

    Says Joyful. Toad fully agrees on both points.

    A bit ironic to have to pray that the house of God was empty of worshippers at the time, though, surely?

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  7. Mr Badger says:

    George Bernard Shaw was a fan. When he visited in 1912 he asked to see the Cathedral. The city elders were a bit miffed when it turned out that he meant the Roman Catholic one. The one which was hard by the gas works. as opposed to the Anglican cathedral in the city centre. The incident has been a source of pleasure for NZ Catholics ever since.

    But reading of this earthquake and its result in demolishing a dodgy building, well now I’m laughing on the other side of my face, (an expression I dont understand actually).

    My goodness Whippy!!

    Great post Raven, I somehow missed it when you first put it up.

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