Campaign launched to fund restorations at fire-damaged Cleveland cathedral

Cleveland, June 10, 2024

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A fundraising campaign has been launched to finance restoration work at St. Theodosius Cathedral in Cleveland, which suffered severe fire damage in late last month.

A massive fire broke out at the church on May 28, especially damaging the central dome, which has since had to be completely dismantled.

St. Theodosius Cathedral (OCA Diocese of the Midwest), built in 1911–1912, is formally recognized as a Cleveland landmark and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The church that preceded the cathedral was built with donations from Royal Martyr Nicholas II of Russia.

His Eminence Archbishop Daniel visited the cathedral just hours after the tragedy. In a letter to his diocese, he offered words of encouragement:

It was emotionally moving and spiritually uplifting to gather in prayer with the local clergy and faithful on Wednesday morning, just hours after the fire. Standing before the open doors of the Cathedral, surrounded by fallen debris and with the smell of smoke still in the air, we sang the Paschal Canon. With these familiar melodies and comforting verses, we were reminded of what we continue to celebrate in these forty days of Pascha: Christ has conquered death and the powers of darkness and has given us the life and light that flow from His victorious Resurrection! Our coming together to proclaim Christ’s Victory in word and song, especially in the midst of this painful loss, is a great testament of faith. It directs our hope to another victory, one that is yet to be shown, as the work of the restoration of the Cathedral begins.

On June 3, the Diocese of the Midwest reported that the cathedral’s main dome was deemed structurally unstable and in danger of collapsing, and thus had to be systematically dismantled.

The cathedral is in need of support to finance this necessary work, and has set up a fundraising campaign on Tithely.

Abp. Daniel concluded his letter to the diocese:

As the newest chapter of the Cathedral’s history begins to be written, I call upon you to pray for Father Ján Čižmár, Cathedral Dean, for the parish leadership, and for all the members of the Saint Theodosius Cathedral parish community. May we all, as Saint Paul exhorts us in his letter to the Galatians, “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

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