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St. Mary set to host special events

St. Mary Basilica is inviting all to two special events next weekend.

In preparation for the coming Lenten and Easter season, St. Mary is pleased to announce that Dr. Allen Hunt of Atlanta will speak at our new family life center on Main Street on Saturday.

Dr. Hunt is host of the nationally syndicated “The Allen Hunt Show,” a radio talk show which is heard on 14- syndicated stations. His focus is “not right or left but right or wrong, a moral compass for mainstream talk radio.”

Dr. Hunt was a Methodist minister who later converted to Catholicism.

As a converted Catholic who was once pastor of a Methodist 8,000-congregant mega-church and who holds a doctorate degree from Yale University in New Testament and ancient Christian origins, he has great insight into Christianity as a whole. After a 15-year journey, he was led home to, as he words it, “‘the church,’ the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church.’”

His powerful new book, “Confessions of a Mega-Church Pastor: How I Discovered the Hidden Treasures of the Catholic Church,” uses the analogy of an old house to the Catholic faith. In this house are hidden treasures to help us grow spiritually. They are things that have always been in the church but not appreciated.

This book uncovers the treasure and inspires the reader to use them. His most recent release is “Everybody needs to Forgive Somebody.”

Dr. Hunt will speak about why he became Catholic and the centrality and beauty of the Eucharist. He will also explore who and what God desires you to be and what holds you back from moving forward toward God’s destiny for your life.

Whether you are a practicing or former Catholic or just interested in the first Christian faith, there is something for everyone.

This upcoming presentation — the Meal, the Man, the Mission and What is weighing you down — will be an all-day event from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with lunch included for a $25 registration fee.

You can register at the St. Mary Basilica Rectory next door to the basilica on Union Street.

Mass in the basilica will follow this day’s journey at 4 p.m. for those who would like to attend.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, the American classical guitarist Giovanni De Chiaro, will perform in the basilica.

He is currently serving as artist in residence for the Rapides Parish School System in Alexandria, La., after a 25-year career as a professor of guitar at the University of Southern Mississippi. His performance credentials include PBS recordings, national and international honors, as well as having performed in distinguished settings all over the world. There are too many accomplishments to list in this space.

You would need to attend in order to appreciate for yourself Mr. De Chiaro’s special talent performed in this special place.

The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a “meet the artist” reception in the family life center.

Make your plans now to join us at St. Mary Basilica for a wonderful, uplifting weekend.

Patricia Tumminello is a member of St. Mary Basilica.

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