Mt. Pleasant area churches to feature Christian illusionist

| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Three local Catholic churches are working together to bring a nationally known Christian illusionist to the area this month.

Representatives from St. Pius X Parish in Mt. Pleasant, St. Florian Parish in United and Visitation in Mt. Pleasant will host a dinner and a show at 6 p.m. April 26.

The event, which will be held at St. Florian Church along state Route 981 in United, will feature illusionist Brett A. Myers.

“The thing that impressed me the most about him is how he talks about how what he does is an optical illusion and only God can create miracles,” said Toni Chovanec, the event's organizer.

Myers, 26, of Lancaster has been performing illusions since he was 14 years old.

In 2005, he began touring regionally by partnering with churches and ministry organizations.

Over the next few years, he and his wife, Labrina, who he credited as being “an intricate part of the magic,” grew the show into a national act.

“It started as a hobby and turned out to be something I do full-time. My wife and I enjoy traveling all across the country partnering with churches,” Myers said.

To reach more people, Myers retooled his show in 2012 to make it appealing to those who attend church, as well as those who do not.

“In January 2012, a new dream was born, a theater illusion show. We wanted to create a show that unchurched people would love to see and yet, at the same time, it's a show that encourages them to take a step closer to God,” he said. “A show that is both deep in impact, and wide in reach.”

Myers said some of his more popular illusions involve making a bowling ball appear on stage, making his wife float and another where her head appears to spin completely around.

In addition to the show, there will be a 50/50 raffle.

The money raised from the raffle will help fund a trip for six young parishioners from the three parishes to the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis in November. Chovanec said the conference, which is held every two years, is attended by about 25,000 Catholic children.

Chovanec said the child-friendly meal at the upcoming event will consist of pizza, salad and cupcakes.

Cost for the dinner and show is $7 per person.

A Francis Fund Grant from the Diocese of Greensburg is helping to finance the performance. The grant helped organizers keep the cost more affordable.

“It's extremely difficult for families to find things to do that are not cost prohibitive, so we are keeping the cost low so families can enjoy the show,” Chovanec said.

Molly Scanlon of Norvelt said she bought tickets to the event for herself, her husband and their two children, ages 9 and 7.

“It's an affordable way to do something with the kids and I think it will be fun,” Scanlon said.

Limited seating is available for the event.

Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling Chovanec at 724-600-6597 by Tuesday.

No tickets will be sold at the door.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.

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