Lightning damages Cathedral equipment

Anne Marie Amacher
Catholics celebrate Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport last month. A lightning strike caused damage to some electrical functions at the cathedral June 25.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — A lightning strike at or near Sacred Heart Cathedral in the early morning of June 25 caused damage to some electrical functions at the cathedral.

Carol Haines, the cathedral’s office contact and bookkeeper, who lives by the cathedral, said the loud sound of thunder woke her up. Neither she nor Father Thom Hennen, the cathedral’s pastor, knew what had been damaged until later that day.

The cathedral’s sound system, two of the cameras for the live streaming of Masses, the air conditioning system and alarm systems all were affected. Some lighting issues in the cathedral at first were attributed to the storm, but Father Hennen reported that was not the case. A switch usually left on at all times had been turned off. An easy fix.


Various businesses were at the cathedral working on the different issues throughout the week. “As far as I know, there was no physical damage to the cathedral. When you have a tower that high up in the air on top of a hill in Iowa in the spring, this kind of thing is probably inevitable. We do have a lightning rod and surge protectors, but even so….”

The air conditioner was up and running for the hot weekend and a temporary sound board was in place. Father Hennen expected the cameras to be up and running by later this week.

The process for insurance claims was under way.

Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on