Maine singer and recording artist Louis Philippe will grace the stage – the altar, that is – of Sacred Heart Church in Auburn on Sunday, May 1 at 2 p.m. in a concert to benefit the parish’s music program and the Sister Elizabeth Platt Pipe Organ Fund. The program will feature a variety of inspirational songs and traditional Gospel hymns, including a sing-along finale. Philippe will also perform selections from his latest CD, “The Funeral Singer: Songs of Comfort and Healing During Life’s Transitions.”
With 40 years of Music Ministry experience, Philippe enjoys a reputation for his ability to organize a plethora of diverse singers in lively, nourishing worship music. It’s also not unusual for him to lend his talents to support musical causes or to encourage up-and-coming artists, which is why he’s particularly excited about this event and the parish’s musical goals. “I can’t wait to meet Sister Elizabeth,” Philippe said. “She sounds like an amazing woman.”
At age 84, Sister Elizabeth Platt, C.O.C., who currently serves as Pastoral Assistant, has dedicated almost 30 years of service to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in religious education and the RCIA Program. A period of her life that she often speaks of with particular fondness is her years of ministry teaching children to sing the parts of the Mass. Before coming to Maine, she also worked with the Boys’ Choir in Boston.
Last fall, the parish procured a 1954 Casavant Opus 2277 Pipe Organ from the Sisters of Notre Dame in Toledo, Ohio, when their chapel closed after 60 years. The Casavant Organ will replace Sacred Heart’s aging instrument, which needs repairs. The new organ will be professionally installed once some logistical improvements and interior modifications have been made.
The Sister Elizabeth Platt Pipe Organ Fund for Sacred Heart Church was established to highlight the richness and significance of the church’s liturgical celebrations through sacred music and to inspire active participation within the community. Proceeds from the concert, along with contributions to the Pipe Organ Fund, will help defray costs of the purchase, relocation, and installation of the new organ, as well as future maintenance and improvements. The fund is also designed to provide education and training to parish organists, choirs and cantors and subsidized organ lessons for deserving and talented youth.
Sacred Heart Church is located at 8 Sacred Heart Place (off Western Avenue) in Auburn. Tickets are $10 ($8 per person in groups of five or more) or $5 for youth. They can be purchased following all weekend Masses at Sacred Heart and St. Philips Churches or by calling the church office. They will also be sold at the door. For more information about the Sister Elizabeth Platt Pipe Organ Fund or to make a contribution, call the church office at 782-8096.