After 45 years of presenting passion plays during Lent, the St. Sebastian Parish youth ministry took a new approach this spring. They created an original musical revue to benefit The Chimbote Mission and Project Hope, their mission project in Kentucky. The new show, entitled City of Man, drew wonderful reviews from audience members.

Thirty-six students from six different high schools comprised the cast and crew, and each one raised a minimum of $175 to offset the cost of the lights, microphones and other rental equipment. This allows 100% of proceeds to go to mission work. The Chimbote Mission and Project Hope will each receive $8,000 this year. This donation translates into 12 days of operating funds for the Maternidad de Maria maternity hospital in Chimbote. Ultimately, it means that more than 100 babies were born with support from St Sebastian’s youth ministry this year!

Bringing Acts of the Apostles to Life

City of Man is a revue set in the Acts of the Apostles and draws from five different Gospel-based musicals:

  •  Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Godspell
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  • Children of Eden and
  • Cotton Patch Gospel

The youth group normally rotates between Godspell, Superstar and Joseph, according to Craig Kreutzer, who has directed the last 19 musicals. This year, explained Kreutzer, they wanted to depict what happens after Jesus dies and the apostles are trying to begin their ministries.

City of Man was written by Chip Homer, a St. Sebastian parishioner who participated in the musical productions when he was in high school. Homer also helped to direct the show, and played in the 5-member rock band that provided the musical accompaniment. He worked with Kreutzer and St. Sebastian pastor, Fr. John Rushofsky, to ensure the script reflected biblical events accurately. The final production was enlightening, spiritually uplifting, and intentionally humorous at times.

Outstanding Support Behind the Scenes Brings Success

Over the last 45 years, the musicals have raised about $300,000 for the missions. This long-standing labor of love could not be successful without the dedication of parents and other volunteers, which this year includes: Sheri Gieger-Miller, assistant director; Angela Gross, music director; Sarah Connors, choreographer; Elizabeth Wells and Johnna Melciorre, producers; and Katie Dorman, St. Sebastian youth minister.

Thank you to all of the students and volunteers for their inspiring and ongoing support of the Diocese of Pittsburgh mission in Chimbote.

Photos from the Performance


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