Christopher Lushis
Freelance Writer
February 28, 2023 // Diocese

Eucharistic Revival Palm Sunday Concert in Fort Wayne to Benefit Catholic Charities

Christopher Lushis
Freelance Writer

Throughout Bishop Rhoades’ recent presentations on the Holy Eucharist, he has repeatedly emphasized the importance of encountering beautiful Sacred Music to deepen one’s devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

In the upcoming weeks, as the Church prepares to enter into the Passion of Jesus Christ, a special liturgical concert will be held on Palm Sunday, April 2, at 3 p.m. at St. Peter Catholic Church in Fort Wayne. The event, coordinated by Bishop Rhoades as part of the Eucharistic Revival, will be led by professional singers and musicians from Heartland Sings, with the accompaniment of students from Bishop Dwenger and Bishop Luers High Schools.

This concert, which is open to all, aims to draw the faithful more deeply into the mystery of Christ’s Eucharistic sacrifice, especially as the Church enters into the most sacred time of the year.

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Heartland Sings is a non-profit vocal production company based in Fort Wayne. It is a mission-driven institution seeking to foster an appreciation for the vocal arts and inspire audiences and artists through exceptional cultural and entertainment experiences, educational programs, and community outreach. Bishop Rhoades is a member of their honorary board and has previously helped to arrange musical performances with them.

Robert Nance, President and Founding Artistic Director of Heartland Sings, partnered with Bishop Rhoades to arrange and lead this performance. Nance shared, “In discussions with the bishop, we thought there needed to be something to build on the National Eucharistic Revival that could be highlighted during Holy week.”

The experience will include performances of the “Pange Lingua” written by Thomas Aquinas for the feast of Corpus Christi, Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus” a meditation on Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist, and “Cantique De Jean Racine” by Gabriel Fauré, a composition based upon a hymn from the Divine Office. Natalie Young, Lead Soprano, and Lisa Gerstenkorn, Lead Alto, will also perform the “Stabat Mater” with orchestral and choir accompaniment to allow listeners an opportunity to walk through Holy Week alongside the Blessed Virgin Mary. Additionally, Bishop Rhoades will provide a theological reflection at the event.

Maestro Nance further expressed his joy to prepare for the performance of this liturgical concert. He shared, “This event checks off a lot of boxes for Heartland Sings’ mission, which is ‘to change lives through song.’ It is one thing to share beautiful music with an audience for the Eucharistic Revival. It is another to give our young people, students from the local parochial high schools who are learning to be good singers, an experience where they can do something with a professional orchestra and vocalists. It adds even more when the professional performers themselves are also changed through their preparations to present this music in a liturgical concert.”

As Eucharist devotion increases, so too does one’s desire to give more fully to Jesus and help support one another. Therefore, for those who wish to contribute, a free-will offering will be collected at the event to benefit Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

Dan Florin, CEO of Catholic Charities said, “This Eucharistic Revival Palm Sunday concert will be a special way to encounter Christ heading into Holy Week and Easter.” He elaborated, “As the Human Service arm of the Church, we are honored to be a part of this event. The Revival reminds us that Christ is not only truly present in the Eucharist, He is also present in our neighbors in need. The concert’s offertory collection will directly benefit people throughout the diocese in need of Stability, Pro-Life, Migration, and Counseling services. At Catholic Charities, we not only provide these material services, but we do so with heartfelt concern and love for our neighbor, as Christ calls us to do.”

Advance registration is required to reserve a seat, as capacity is limited. Registration will also be available at the event, subject to availability. To reserve your space or learn more about the event, please visit

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