A giant mass was held at the Levallois-Perret sports center in Hauts-de-Seine. The place, transformed into a church, made it possible to respect the sanitary protocol imposing to leave free one row out of two and two places between each parishioner or each family.
A very special mass at Levallois-Perret in the Hauts-de-Seine. About 500 Catholic faithful came to Christmas mass in the grounds of the Marcel-Cerdan sports center, transformed for the occasion into a church.
The bishop of Nanterre, Matthieu Rougé, celebrated mass which took place at 5 p.m. “I can’t start Christmas without a mass and it was even more important this year”, explained Monique, a 68-year-old retiree who came with her daughter.
Stowed basketball hoops
The place had to be arranged to accommodate all the faithful. Thus, on the basketball court, usually trodden by the local club of “Metropolitans 92”, the parquet floor was replaced by a carpet where some 300 chairs were placed, occupied mainly by families.
The basketball hoops have been put away to make way for an altar, placed in front of white sheets and a photograph of the nativity scene in Saint-Justin Church, where the midnight mass, traditionally less frequented, will be held.
Faced with the epidemic, the health protocol required the organizers to leave one row out of two and two places free between each parishioner or each family. This protocol was the subject of a standoff at the end of November between the executive and Catholic associations which denounced the previous government limitation to 30 people per religious building.
The latter had finally won their case before the Council of State, which had judged this gauge “disproportionate” and gave the government three days to review its copy.