Beethoven concert on Facebook Sept. 20 will also seek funds for Sisters’ plans

George Stelluto, music director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, discusses plans for the showing of “Music & Faith” with members of the Apostolic Sisters of St. John, from left, Sister Lety Guadalupe, Sister Anne, Sister Monika Maria, and Sister Victoria Maria. (Provided photo)

A free concert celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday will also invite support for the Apostolic Sisters of St. John’s efforts to build a new convent and chapel at their U.S. novitiate house in rural Princeville.

“Music & Faith: Beethoven and the Apostolic Sisters of St. John” will be shown on the Sisters’ Facebook page beginning at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20. Through performances and testimony, the program explores the connections between Beethoven’s life, music, spiritual searching and his Catholic faith, as well as the Sisters’ struggle to build safe, new living quarters.

It features George Stelluto, music director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, on violin; Richard Hirschl of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on cello; and Peoria Symphony Orchestra staff pianist Pei Yeh Tsai.

Interviews with the Sisters will be included throughout the program.

Stelluto sees parallels between Beethoven’s musical searching and the lives and generous work of the Apostolic Sisters of St. John. Both the German composer — born Dec. 17, 1770 — and the Sisters, he said, strive “for a more profound understanding of the human condition and their own spiritual journey.”

The Sisters’ current convent near the Brothers of St. John and the Contemplative Sisters of St. John is an old hunter’s cabin with crumbling foundation, leaky roof, no insulation, and other concerns. A larger convent and chapel is needed to meet the needs of their rapidly growing religious community. The cost of a new convent is estimated at $1.5 million, with nearly half that amount already raised.

A private pre-screening of the video performance took place on Sept. 8 at the Betty Jayne Brimmer Center for the Performing Arts in Peoria Heights.

It is not necessary to be a Facebook user to view the concert. Contributions will be accepted during the 60-minute program, or can be made by writing a check to the Apostolic Sisters of St. John Building Fund and mailed to 10809 W. Legion Hall Road, Princeville, IL 61559.

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