Notre-Dame Cathedral

*Originally this blog post was supposed to be about events during Holy week. With the news yesterday about the fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, it seemed more appropriate to write about the tragedy. Notre-Dame is not only one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, but it is also an important site for Catholic’s and Christian’s alike. Let’s give it the attention it deserves.

My first time in Paris was when I was 20 years old. I went with EF Tours – a company that provides tours geared towards students at a reasonable cost. I went with my French class and some fashion students from the college I was attending at the time. It was my first time out of the country and I was excited beyond words. It was a couple of months after the Sex and the City finale so we all had Carrie Bradshaw on our minds – eat at a patisserie, visit museums and see all the sites! The list of sites included the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and of course, Notre-Dame. Check, check and check!

Upon hearing on the news yesterday that the Spire at Notre-Dame was on fire, all I could think about were the priceless artifacts and priceless memories I had in Paris. When you are not certain of how the fire would turn out, you always imagine the worst and then are thankful that you can always say, “at least I was there”. The news has given us hope that all is not lost.

Many ponder, “What makes Notre-Dame so important?” It’s the priceless artifacts, the countless pieces of artwork, the beautiful stain glassed windows, and the heritage of not only the French, but of Catholic’s as well.  It has stood where it is for over 800 years, a fete not easily achieved because of two world wars and the French Revolution. It truly signifies French beauty and history.

The roof and part of the interior were made of wood, which diminished in the fire. Already millions of Euros have been pledged to rebuild the cathedral. Since it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, there is an international appeal for funds to help restore it. If you’d like to make a donations visit Heritage Foundation. All donations are tax deductible and there are no added fees.

Let’s try to keep this Heritage site alive and try to rebuild what was destroyed for future generations. We do not want to “remember when”, but rather “let’s revisit” Notre-Dame in Paris.

Holy Week and Our Easter Traditions

Easter is always an exciting time of the year. Since it is later than usual, we are expecting warmer weather, plenty of sunshine, beautiful flowers and lots of Easter dresses and suits on the little ones! We also are looking forward to our traditions whether new or old. Here are some of our favorite Easter traditions from Parish Giving.

Berkeley Sweet Shop

This has been a tradition in my family since before I was born. Every Palm Sunday we go to Seaside Heights just for our Easter candy from the Berkeley Sweet Shop. We enjoy a leisurely walk up and down the boardwalk, take in the ocean views and reminisce of years past. Just thinking about it makes me excited for this Palm Sunday!

Warner’s Candy

Heather goes to this candy shop every Palm Sunday (I’m starting to see a pattern here). It is a small, family owned shop that makes delicious chocolates. It’s located in Bensalem, so if you are in the area then be sure to check them out! You may even see Heather there buying her Easter candy!

Spors Garden Center

This is a great place to pick up Easter flowers. Heather goes here to pick up flowers for her mom every year. She even picks some up for herself! Since they all have bulbs, she plants them in a flower bed so she can enjoy them all Spring! They have hyacinths, daffodils and so much more to choose from!

Heather isn’t the only one who picks up Easter flowers for her mom! Alexander also picks up flowers for his mother. It’s such a nice gesture to pick something up that smells nice and adds a pop of color to your yard!

Dandelion soup and Pineapple Stuffing

I wasn’t familiar with either one of these dishes until I met Jill. These are both apart of her family Easter tradition. Having pineapple stuffing with your ham is a staple in many families at Parish Giving and John Patrick. Together they are the perfect sweet and savory dishes for dinner.

Dandelion soup is also another tradition in Jill’s family. They have been serving it as a course at Easter dinner for as long as she can remember. It is a simple dish that doesn’t require a lot of fuss. Plus it takes care of all the dandelions growing in your lawn!

Egg Hunt

This is a tradition we all share. It doesn’t matter your age; you still enjoy a good, old-fashioned Easter egg hunt. It doesn’t matter if there is chocolate or money in the eggs, all that matters is that you are having fun finding them!

Now that you’ve read about our Easter traditions we have to ask – what are your Easter traditions?