Fr. Michel-Marie, a Cassock in Deep Marseille
The life, works, and miracles of a priest in a city of France. Who has made the faith blossom again where it had withered
by Sandro Magister
ROME, December 4, 2012 – The title of this article is the same one that "Avvenire” gave to a feature report from Marseille by its correspondent Marina Corradi, in the footsteps of the pastor of a quarter behind the old port.
A pastor whose Masses are crowded with people. Who hears confessions every evening until late at night. Who has baptized many converts. Who always wears the cassock so that everyone may recognize him as a priest even from far away.
Michel-Marie Zanotti-Sorkine was born in 1959 in Nice, to a family a bit Russian and a bit Corsican. As a young man he sang in the nightclubs in Paris, but then over the years there emerged the vocation to the priesthood he had had since his childhood. His guides were Fr. Joseph-Marie Perrin, who was Simone Weil's spiritual director, and Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe, founder of the congregation of Saint John. He studied in Rome at the Angelicum, the theological faculty of the Dominicans. He was ordained a priest in 2004 by Cardinal Bernard Panafieu, the archbishop of Marseille at the time. He writes books, the latest of which is entitled "Au diable la tiédeur," to the devil with lukewarmness, and is dedicated to priests. He is pastor at Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.
And in this parish on Rue Canabière, which leads from the old port through ramshackle houses and shops, with many homeless, immigrants, Rom, where tourists do not venture to go, in a Marseille and in a France where religious practice is almost everywhere at the lowest levels, Fr. Michel-Marie has made the Catholic faith blossom again.
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