(Reader portrait 2/7) Anne: "My passion for religious heritage is a fire that never goes out"

(Reader portrait 2/7) Anne: “My passion for religious heritage is a fire that never goes out”

“Responsible for the sacred art commission of the diocese of Lille for twenty-three years, my work allows me to reconcile my passion for art with my faith and brings me great joy! The liturgical arrangements, the interior decoration of the churches, the enhancement of the works is my mission, as well as that of carrying out inventories. For example, after the fire at Notre-Dame in Paris, the firefighters asked me to provide them with the list of works to be saved in priority at Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille, in Lille, if it should catch fire. My work of interior and exterior restoration of churches leads me to collaborate actively with the mayors. And then I am responsible for training lay people to sacred art. Our specificity, in our diocese, is to lead, for several years, creative workshops with vulnerable audiences: they have a lot to bring us and I still remember the creation of a Stations of the Cross with disabled people from the association Marthe et Marie, in Lomme. A very strong moment, as intense as the workshop we conducted with patients from a psychiatric hospital. In September, we will repeat it with people from the street.

My passion for sacred art connected me to Pilgrim. I applied twice for the Grand Prix du Patrimoine and I was the winner each time! First in 2006, for the restoration of a triptych in the hall of the former Lille seminary. Then in 2022, for the renovation of the altarpiece of the Saint-François d’Assise church, in Roubaix. These allowed me to promote these works and find other patrons. In 2015, I also won a prize as an “associate” with the mayor of the town of Croix, where I live: I had helped him apply for the renovation of the Saint-Martin church.

Pilgrim has followed me, so to speak, all my life. Because I discovered reading with him! My father subscribed to it in the 1970s and I first waited impatiently for Pat’Apouf! Growing up, I became interested in the other pages of the magazine, those that dealt with current affairs like those on John Paul II. The culture pages, especially, brought me a lot.

Today, I start each working day by praying for twenty minutes… in the metro: the word of God nourishes me, it supports me to face my worries about the future of our planet and peace in the world, it helps to cultivate hope.”

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