Out & About: Reception precedes PSO concert at basilica in Unity
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, under the direction of Manfred Honeck, performed Johann Sebastian Bach's “St. John Passion” March 5 at St. Vincent Basilica in Unity.
A pre-concert reception was hosted in the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent College to benefit St. Joan Margaret School for Blind and Deaf Children in Haiti.
Honeck, an honorary alumnus of the college, said he was happy to be there.
“We still have a lot of work to do in this world, for people who have no money or hope,” he said.
Archabbot Douglas Nowicki introduced Father Rick Frechette, a priest who became a doctor so he could serve the people of Haiti as director of medical services at St. Damien Pediatric Hospital.
Many of the children are orphans who can't see, or can't hear. Some can't speak.
“These kids are just so far behind in so many ways,” Frechette said. “But they want to get somewhere, and we want to go forward with them. Those are our marching orders.”
He thanked St. Vincent for its support of the children.
“I can speak for them,” he said. “Thank you for thinking of them.”
Other VIPs: St. Vincent president Brother Norman Hipps, Greensburg Bishop Edward C. Malesic, Bishop Emeritus LawrenceE. Brandt, and Joanne Rogers, widow of Fred Rogers.
Reception guests were shuttled to the Basilica in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Trolley. St. Vincent director of public relations Don Orlando said 1,200 people attended the concert.
Seen:Jerome Oetgen, Doug and Mary Jo Clark, Bill andPhil Dymond, George Shaner and Michael Philopena, Jim Kelley, Dr. George and Linda Austin, Dorothy Zello, Diana Kreiling, Linda Assard, Bob and Jo Ann Lightcap, Donald andMary Haile, Mary Lou McLaughlin and FatherCampion Gavaler.