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Concert to mark church's 20th

| Thursday, April 14, 2005, 12:00 p.m.

Good Shepherd Church in Braddock, the first consolidated parish in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, will celebrate its 20th anniversary Sunday with a free concert.

Music director Herbert Dillahunt said the event will illustrate the ethnicity of the parish.

"The people of Braddock are just a great bunch of people with rich traditions that include the Irish, Slovak, German, Italian, Lithuanian and Polish cultures all combined," he said.

Two years of preparation has gone into the planning of this event, Dillahunt said.

"To date we have raised nearly $17,000 to fund this project," said Dillahunt, music director since the parish's inception in 1985 . "The bulk of the support has been our own parishioners. This is the first time we have done anything like this."

The concert will include 20 guest professional musicians, most coming from the Benedum ballet and opera orchestra, Dillahunt said. They will perform with the 24-member parish choir.

"These ethnic communities have some wonderful musicians hiding in them," Dillahunt said. "The event will bring attention to the community in a positive way. Good things happen here and few people hear about them."

Good Shepherd parish serves about 1,280 families in Braddock, North Braddock, Rankin and Braddock Hills. About 145 students attend a parish school through the eighth grade.

The consolidated Good Shepherd Church is a "more genuine picture of what the church is all about, being all inclusive," the Rev. Thomas A. Wagner, parish pastor. "Personally, it has caused me to grow in my maturity spiritually and emotionally in working with the people of the greater Braddock community."

Sunday's concert, which is open to the public, begins at 3 p.m.

"We hope to achieve with the concert that Good Shepherd is a successful merger. We live, work and worship together. We celebrate the community of oneness that we share," Dillahunt said.

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