Age : 31
Job : Maths and Physics teacher
City : Bethléem
Rite : Catholique latin
"With my choir, I try to make everybody feel like a part of the Church"
How are you involved in the church?
I have been leading the choir of the Betlehem parish for many years now. It is a way of uniting people and serving this church by helping people to pray and to stay connected to what is spiritual. I started with 3 people. After a year we were 15, and now we are 35, from 6 years old to 53. I try to make everybody feel like a part of the church. When I sing with my choir, I try to make them feel they are important. I always tell them that we are like a body: if they don’t come, I am missing a leg, or an arm. It is not only about the choir, but also about the whole church. Before corona, we used to be 1 000, 1 500 in the church during the big fiests. Not anymore. We are only 500, 700. The elderly don’t come anymore, they are afraid of the virus.
Do you feel that the Catholic Church is away from some people?
Yes. Because of social media, coming and talking to the kids about religion and spirituality is much harder now. They need proof and faith is away from that. There is a gap between the church and the youth. And when I talk about youth, I am speaking about the 20% who come and give. There also the 80 other percent that don’t want to pray or believe. The catholic church should improve its actions with the youth, make them feel part of the Church, away from all the protocols or the things that don’t have sense without God to make them believe.
Does the Church need to evolve?
Yes. Since everything is evolving, we cannot stay behind. But we need to be smart: not only follow a trend, but keep the spirituality alive amongst the people because they tend to focus more on shallow things. Also, it has to work with the youth. What will I change with our parents or grand-parent’s generation ? Especially because they think that they should not work and let the parish pay for their kids' studies. Even when I talk to my students, they say “I am a son of the parish, they should pay for me”. Why ? Because you are a Roman catholic, you think you are entitled ? You should not think like that. We feel that we should get stuff just because christians families are not that numerous ? No. You should work and deserve it. People need time to change their state of mind. Maybe 20 years. And the church can help with that. It could create more projects to involve the unemployed people or even give them jobs.
What do you dream of for the church ?
The Church should follow the path of the saints and their holiness. The impact that saints made around their congregations is my dream for the church : to make everybody come together more and more. I also dream that all the different groups that are involved with the Church work more efficiently, with no energy lost, and hand in hand.
Interview by Cécile Lemoine