This Saturday evening kicks off a new, three-night summer concert series in the northern Chester County countryside called Magnifest, featuring music and praise with local musicians and artisans.
“We felt the Holy Spirit,” says Beth Riordan, one of the festival organizers.
Riordan said the idea for the festival came to her earlier this year when she prayed with two friends one Sunday evening in the chapel at St. Issac Jogues Parish in Wayne.
While in prayer, Riordan, who is involved with music ministry at her parish, says she asked the Holy Spirit what he desired for musicians.
She felt guided to bring together local musicians and create a summer music festival at St. Mary of Providence Center. Located in Elverson, the facility is managed by the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence as a group Retreat Center and an independent living center for seniors.
The name “Magnifest” was suggested by the center’s management director, Sister Brenda McHugh.
Riordan said the festival itself “came together only a few months later with a full lineup of local musicians willing to donate their talents and energy to St. Mary’s and their mission.”
The event is designed “really to give praise to God,” said Riordan, who hopes Magnifest will engage neighbors and all Christians, not only Catholics.
The Magnifest concert series begins on Saturday, July 31 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the grounds of St. Mary of Providence Center at 227 Isabella Rd, Elverson, PA 19520. It continues Saturday, Aug. 7 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 14 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. each evening.
The August 14 concert will celebrate the Vigil of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a talk about St. Maximilian Kolbe (known for his profound devotion to Mary) by transitional deacon Andrew Lane at 7 p.m. Afterward, local singer-songwriter Gus deSimone will perform an original work inspired by Kolbe.
A Vigil Mass for the Solemnity of the Assumption will be offered at 7:30 p.m. by Father Stephen DeLacy, the newly appointed vicar for the archdiocesan Office of Faith Formation for Youth and Young Adults.
Eucharistic adoration will follow the Mass.
Riordan said the event received significant support from the Knights of Columbus Council 13141 at St. Elizabeth Parish in Upper Uwchlan. The council will provide the event’s food and refreshments, including hamburgers, hot dogs, snacks, drinks and ice cream.
Online advance tickets can be purchased on the event’s website at https://stmaryprov.org/ for $10 per person, ages 8 and over. Tickets can also be purchased at the event for $15 per person, ages 8 and over. For special youth group pricing, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The July 31 concert will feature performances by local singer-songwriters Jule Copa, Pawel Machura, Randall Tan and Jack Terzian.
For a full list of performers, see the event’s website at https://stmaryprov.org/
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