Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - MGN

Image courtesy of the French Ministry of the interior/Twitter, MGN.

BUTTE- Millions of people across the world watched as the historic Notre Dame Cathedral burned for over nine hours on Monday, and the effects of the devastating loss reverberated to Butte.

"It was extraordinarily emotional, extraordinarily heartbreaking."

The Notre Dame fire hits home for Father Patrick Beretta, who grew up in Paris for the first eighteen years of his life.

Today, he's parish priest at Butte's St. Patrick and Immaculate Conception.

Father Beretta fondly remembers his father taking him to see the cathedral's historic towers.

"To look at Paris from all that height, it was looking a Paris from nine centuries of history," Beretta said. "These towers, this cathedral has observed Paris grow from a very small community to a metropolis of 12 million people."

The cathedral has survived for over 800 years, through the Renaissance period, the French Revolution and both World Wars.

Father Beretta said, "It survived all this with incredible grace so you have in mind that it's going to survive forever, it's something that is permanently timeless about it."

Father Beretta has family and friends still in Paris and he said they sent him photos and videos of the fire. He said his sister couldn't help but weep over the tragic event.

However, throughout this tragedy, Father Beretta says the Parisian community has come together to support what they call the sacred center of the city.

Father Beretta said, "I think the sadness of the event and the power that it had over people has an opportunity to bring the people closer together, unite people in grief. It was a moment of grief. It was a collective moment of grief for an entire nation."

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