The sixth festival « between Heaven and sea » organized in this place, considered by some people as the height marvel of the modern world, took place from July 8th to 13th. The aim of this festival is to promote Christian arts and to awaken the numerous visitors coming from so different countries to the Catholic dimension of this place of pilgrimage.
With about 15 rangers of the Fire of Rennes, we joined the group of volunteers who came to help for the good running of the festival. Divided into groups of 3 or 4, we had various missions according to the days and to the artists who were intervening: every day, we settled the tents and stands of the permanent artists on the “Parvis de la Croix de Jérusalem”. So visitors could make a break during their walk up or down the numerous steps leading to the abbey. They could admire paintings, icons, calligraphies, sculpture and others. A group of volunteers was in charge of promoting these stands at the entrance of the terrace, calling the tourists, in French, English or Spanish, even in Japanese for the most courageous ones. In Saint-Peter’s church, located in the main street of the Mount, we invited the passers-by to come and listen to religious concerts or simply to stop for a while in this sacred place; This rich experience obliged us to meet people, but at the same time to remain delicate and smiling in order not to hurt their sensitivity. Although some people preferred not to pay attention to us, we were surprised to see how people pay attention, are curious and full of good will, even if they don’t have Faith.
These five days also enabled us, after 5 other days walking during the previous week, to act concretely, as true rangers, offering our folded up sleeves, the reason why we have chosen to go on with our guide experience: service. The family and relaxed atmosphere within the volunteers helped us to take the best out of this experience. Besides, we managed to find a regular time between us in order to strengthen our links within our Fire.
Concerts, visits, exhibitions… there were so many proposals offered by the festival, that we had to promote and to which we could freely take part! We could discover the numerous lanes and the steps of this Breton monument (this is a testimony given by guides from Rennes!), while chatting with curious visitors, pious pilgrims and all passers-by.
We could testify of our Faith with our uniform, among people coming from different regions and countries who could consider that Catholicism is disappearing.
May the festival go on in the future years and find motivated volunteers!
Alice and Elisabeth, on behalf of the Fire of Rennes