Notes from Venasque and Mont Serrat in Barcelona

Notes from Venasque and Mont Serrat in Barcelona

Hello Everyone! 

      The Assumption of Mary Celebration, in Venasque, France, which was to be held on August 15, 2021, was canceled, because of COVID. We came over as a pilgrimage of sorts, for the event that did not happen. The plan was to send notes and photographs, so we will try again in 2022. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! We are disappointed but not too downhearted. Venasque is a beautiful little village.

For future reference, here is our Venasque address:

Rob Clemenz, Founder SaintsforSinners/SaintsforHope,

# 8 Rue San Paul Impasse,

Venasque, France 84210

While we are away, Rob’s niece, Casey Bayer-Russell, is still ably handling all of the hand-painted saint medal orders that come in through the website to our New Orleans Headquarters. 


The idea about sending out a piece of lagniappe with every order continues! The latest batch of tiny little gifts are hand-painted white dove charms and hand-painted rose lockets with an image of Saint Benedict inside. Our crafter, Franco, has done a magnificent job creating these new designs. Thank you, Franco!




Since Rome is still close by, Rob will be stopping there to marvel at the Colonade once again, and hunt for other unique items to hand-paint and offer to you.



      Once again, we are seeing and learning it is true such a small world! Just yesterday, we were out finding items to set up our Venasque, France, satellite headquarters.  We decided to have a bite to eat. There was a cute bistro, Lili Rosa, right outside on Avignon, France. We were finishing our meal and two of the workers were taking a break outside. 

      We walked by and our friend Rick was wearing a NOLA tee shirt. The guys from the restaurant saw it and yelled “Pelicans!” to us, referencing the New Orleans NBA basketball team. Then they broke out in “The Treme” song, written and sung by our good friend,  John Boutte! We went over to show the guys we had John’s number “in our phone.” And then we told them all about John’s friend, Leonard Blair, who has taken up residence in the beautiful nearby town of Ils Sur la Sorgue, France, singing and playing his trumpet. 

      The takeaway message is that we are all connected, in many more ways than we even realize. Who would have ever dreamed that by having a NOLA tee shirt, we would be “Representing” for New Orleans, the Pelicans, and hearing Frenchmen singing John Boutte’s New Orleans songs, just a few kilometers away from where the early Vatican existed in Avignon, France? That is,  until Saint Catherine of Siena, helped return the Papacy to Rome.

  Melanie Loomis, the wife of the New Orleans Pelicans (and New Orleans Saints) president, Mickey Loomis, has been one of the dearest, most loyal supporters of SaintsforSinners for decades! She is particularly attached to our twinly saint Cosmas and Damien medals and our Touchdown Jesus! She buys them at our retailer, Little Miss Muffin’s Metairie road location.

John Boutte has also been a friend for many years as well. He wears, and has always worn, it seems, the Miraculous Medal! And John bravely served America in the US Army. It’s a Small World After All! 

Finishing up this newsletter, please remember that you will receive one of the designs Franco has painted so masterfully, as our lagniappe gift to you when you place your order.  


Our last order came from our friend Steve P., who is mailing a gift to his son, Mackenzie, in Ronhert Park, California. We will be sending the medal package to Mackenzie, of course!  We will also be sending Steve a beautifully painted colorful rosary we found on our recent trip to Barcelona, Signora Familia, and Mont Serrat. Don’t tell him though. It’s a surprise! 

Thanks for reading to the bottom line!

And, as a postscript, we are so very saddened to say that Sharon Beebee, our dear, dear friend, decided to take her own life. For years, Sharon has been perfecting and keeping current, our Constant Contact email list.  This list that brings you this newsletter, up-to-date for many years. Rob, and all of Sharon’s friends and family, are devastated to learn she took her life. 


     You never know how someone is feeling inside. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is: 

1 800 273 8255

1 800 273 TALK


 Saint Dymphna, the patron saint invoked against mental illness, can’t resolve all the mental and emotional disabilities of the people in our own separate worlds. Talk about mental health. Look out for one another.

And, to honor the life of Sharon, I ask, beg, plead, and implore you to resolve your estrangements. Undo the kinks and knots in your relationships. The friend or family member who has committed the most despicable act against you? He or she has their own side of the story. Forgive and Forget. If not now, then when? 

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