RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Hundreds of Catholic parishioners filled the pews at Raleigh's Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral for a Tuesday Mass one day after the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned as the world watched.
"It's not something you expect to hear," said Father Ryan, pastor of Holy Family Church in Hillsborough. "(Notre Dame) is one of the great landmarks of Christianity. One of the great landmarks of just Western culture."
The significance between Notre Dame and Holy Name of Jesus is that both cathedrals have a relic of the true cross of Jesus Christ. The true cross is said to be the same cross Jesus carried on His way to being crucified. With a connection so impactful, Father Ryan is rather humble about it.
"If I or somebody had that sort of exclusive ideals, 'oh we're somehow better or somehow exalted because we have a piece of the True Cross', or what we believe is a piece of the True Cross of Jesus Christ, that goes against the message," he said.
The true cross relic inside Holy Name of Jesus is constructed into the cathedral's altar. Another connection -- Holy Name of Jesus and Notre Dame have similar organs used for musical performances.
Another blow to the religious community is that the fire occurred during Holy Week, just days ahead of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
READ MORE: Full coverage of the Notre Dame cathedral fire
"Eight-hundred years (Notre Dame) has been witness to Holy Week," Father Ryan added. "I think there's a deep mystical reality to having to sacrifice that."
Parishioner Tony Gutierrez was emotional about the fire even though he's yet to visit.
"The Eiffel Tower and the Cathedral were on my bucket list and sadly enough, I will never have a chance to experience that," he said.