Père Olivier Spinosa
A Man of faith, sharing and culture
© La Chambre Ichtus
For more than 150 years, the Good Mother has watched over the believer and non-believer citizens of Marseille. Father Olivier Spinosa is both its spiritual and physical guardian. «I was baptized at the age of 10, my family gave me the freedom to choose. I like to tell people that I discovered Christ thanks to my grandmother’s laziness! We lived next to a church that we cut across it to avoid going around the block. God even uses laziness to call us to him,» he adds with a laugh! After this introduction, which sets the tone for the warm exchange to come, Father Spinosa insists on the importance of the team around him. “The responsibility for keeping the Basilica running rests on everyone’s shoulders - the sanctuary’s bursar, the chairman of the estate association, all those who work on its maintenance.” Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde is like a small business but whose religious energy makes a difference. Here, it’s all about faith, but also about the welcome offered. «It is a place of worship which is open to all. We go up to Notre-Dame to recharge our batteries, whatever our path, our faith, our religious conviction. It is a sanctuary that allows you to look at the bigger picture. In the spiritual and physical sense, we climb up to experience greatly intense moments of life. In this vein, Olivier Spinosa has arranged for a food truck to be present in good weather, reopened the Basilica Museum and, recently, put the Restaurant back into service, so that everyone in their own way, whether through prayer, a thirst for culture or culinary enjoyment can take back ownership of this site. Two million visitors have already been able to appreciate how much the Basilica was their home.