Parishes hold benefit concerts for Colombia youth, elderly

Impoverished in Marsella, surrounding area to receive benefits from One Heart, One Mission led by Father Giraldo

Five Diocese of Knoxville parishes have joined to hold benefit concerts for those in need in Marsella, Colombia.

Successful benefit concerts were held in July for One Heart, One Mission, a ministry to Marsella. The concerts were held by St Thérése of Lisieux in Cleveland, St Thomas the Apostle in Lenoir City, Holy Trinity in Jefferson City, St John Paul II Catholic Mission in Rutledge, and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Church in Maynardville, and received good response.

The mission, led by Father Antonio Giraldo, originated in 2005 and has benefited from a growing number of volunteers over the last 10 years. This year, 316 food bags were distributed to needy families in the South American region where work can be scarce this time of the year.

One bag contains enough food to feed a family of four for about a month.

The mission team also visits and prays with the elderly and poor in homes and remote areas surrounding Marsella, and a Bible school for 200 children is held over a three-day period.

The concerts featured Esteban Salazar Duque, a talented 23-year-old singer from Marsella, who discovered his love of music when he was 8 years old and started attending classes at the House of Culture in Marsella.

Esteban has volunteered to provide music for the Bible school since 2007 and has developed a close relationship with members of the mission team. He said he wanted to give the concerts to give back for the aid the mission has brought to the people of his hometown.

Esteban’s classical voice training at EAFIT University in Medellín, Colombia, has allowed him to perform in international competitions in Helsinki, Finland, and Pardubice, Czech Republic.

He also sings in Montecarlo, a male quartet that performs music ranging from classical to contemporary. After graduation in December he plans to attend graduate school, where he hopes to receive his master’s degree in music theory. He said if it is God’s will, he will be able to study in North America.

The next mission to Marsella is planned for June 2016. For more information about the mission, contact oneheartmarsella@gmail.com.

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