From the street, only the upper part of the facade of Sainte-Rosalie, parish of 13and capital district. “It’s a church on a human scalesays his parish priest, Father Arnaud Mougin. When I celebrate Mass, I see everyone, from the first to the last row. » The building is a reflection of the territorial reality, since the parish covers only ten thousand inhabitants, including some 300 churchgoers. “When I arrived, I said to myself that it was possible to know everyone’s first names”, continues the priest, installed last September. A major change for him, who had previously passed through two of the largest parishes in western Paris.
” Everyone knows each other “, confirms Olivier, a young man in his thirties who has been living in the arrondissement for a few years, which is all the easier since Sainte-Rosalie is located in a still popular district of Paris, where the inhabitants are often settled. for a long time. Humorously qualifying Sainte-Rosalie as being his ” second home “Chantal confirms and speaks of a “friendly place”.
Since the faces are identified, newcomers are quickly spotted. “It helps to ensure that everyone is well integrated and it is easy to get involvedcontinues Olivier. And being a small parish gives us more agility. » If Sainte-Rosalie has only 300 practitioners, half act at different levels, including another half more particularly, for services ranging from liturgical animation to do-it-yourself. “The faithful help directly in the daily functioning of the parish”, salute Father Mougin.
This commitment is manifested in particular in social action, especially since in Sainte-Rosalie the questions of welcoming migrants or ecology mobilize people’s minds more than doctrinal or bioethical subjects. During the confinements, for example, the parishioners worked for a daily distribution of meals to the most deprived. Since then, the trial has been transformed with a solidarity coffee three times a week. Enough to make the parish church, rejoices the priest, “a visible and recognized place of sharing”.