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Grieving with Our Lady: How has the Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire Touched Me?

May 6, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

St. Joseph Chapel, Regis College | Monday, May 6, 2019, at 7 p.m.

Please join us for a panel of scholars, historians, theologians and practitioners to reflect on the meaning of the public grief over the recent fire damage to Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. How should we understand the response of loss and concern that has so engaged people around the globe and across languages, cultures and faiths? Five panelists, including a practicing architect, an art historian, a theologian, a medievalist, and a French historian, will share short insights from their respective vantage-points, followed by a question-and-answer session. Participants are asked to submit their questions to the panel through the registration form below. This event is free and open to the public.

About our Panelists:

Roberto Chiotti is principal of Larkin Architect Limited, a firm specializing in the design, restoration, and renovation of sacred space and a registered member of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals and a member of the Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Forum. He explores the idea of Notre Dame as an expression of the theology of its time made tangible in stone as well as how and why its 13 million annual visitors might connect with the transcendent, regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof.

Katharine Lochnan is senior curator emeritus, Art Gallery of Ontario, adjunct prof at Regis College, and consultant to the Toronto School of Theology on its new “Theology, Spirituality and the Arts” program stream. Following the response to her recent, record-breaking exhibition “The Mystical Landscape from Vincent Van Gogh to Emily Carr” at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, she reflects on the continuing role of Notre-Dame as an artistic monument of the age of faith in secular society.

Gordon Rixon, SJ, past Dean of Regis College and is currently an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Regis College. He studies the theology of grace and the role of spirituality and mysticism in transformative cultural change. He completed his doctoral studies at Boston College and has represented the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Churches’ Council on Theological Education. He reflects on the relation of memory, architectural space and the sacred in the public expressions of grief following the damage to the Cathedral.

Robert Sweetman holds the H. Evan Runner Chair in the History of Philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies. He is a medievalist trained at the University of Toronto (PhD) and The Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies (MSL). His research focuses on Dominican thought and florescence of women’s contemplative writing in the thirteenth century. He will speak about world significance of the cathedral, as a prime European location of social experimentation in music and education.

Thomas Worcester, SJ, is President and Professor of Church History at Regis College. His primary field of research is the religious culture of early modern France; he studied at the Centre Sèvres, the Jesuit faculty of Philosophy and Theology in Paris, and holds a Ph.D. in History from Cambridge University. He is fascinated by the complex intermingling of religious, political, and cultural agendas in the aftermath of the April 15th fire at Notre-Dame.


May 6, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Regis College
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Regis College
100 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2Z5 Canada
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