Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo became aware this week of The Friends of Notre-Dame, Paris, a website devoted to raising funds for the work of restoring the Cathedral from its devastating fire. (Was it really only two years ago?) Apparently, you can either add to the general kitty or else target your donation to specific artifacts, including gargoyles.

This is a neat idea and a clever way to get people to feel a personal connection to the Cathedral’s rebuilding. Just so long as nobody gets any funny ideas about Darth Vader, of course.

In general, Ol’ Robbo is heartened by the progress the French Gub’mint has made so far. I’m old enough to remember the original reports about how the Cathedral was going to be a total loss. Then rumors started flying about plans to “update” it with things like a glass ceiling and rooftop gardens, as well as to turn it into some kind of multi-faith general “worship space”. Since then, the French government said “uh-uh” and is placing it back the way it was, and furthermore seems to be on track to get ‘er done by 2024. Very impressive.

(Thank Heaven Francois Mitterrand isn’t still around. Any bastard who’d allow I.M.Pei to part a glass pyramid smack in front of the Louvre would be capable of turning Notre-Dame into an indoors water park.)

On a completely different note, in the old-style calendar (I dunno about the novus ordo), this is Good Shephard Sunday and the Gospel is John, 10. 11-16. That was the reading the Mothe specifically picked out for her memorial service. “I am the good Shepherd: And I know Mine and Mine know Me.” That’s one of those passages that goes straight to the innermost core of Ol’ Robbo’s soul.