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Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network announces Streaming of Concert from Ireland

The Story of Love Sacred Concert to be Live Streamed from Knock to Millions of Viewers on Click To Pray, the Pope’s official prayer platform.

A global audience will watch the concert The Story of Love composed by Dublin-born composer and musician Willie Hughes, to be broadcast on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 October, 2016. The concert will be streamed live on the Pope's Prayer platform recently launched Click To Pray platform, which includes an App. The Pope Video for the month of October, featuring his prayer intention, will be screened as part of the concert.

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, welcomed ambassadors from around the world at Government Buildings to announce the forthcoming Story of Love Concert, composed by Dublin-born musician Willie Hughes, which takes place in Knock Shrine, Co Mayo, on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th October, 2016. 

Willie Hughes has the support of Irish President Michael D. Higgins; Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown; Archbishop Michael Neary and Bishop Eamonn Walsh. 

The embassies represented were: US, Australia, Argentina, India, The Philippines, Mexico, Nigeria, Italy and Poland. Willie Hughes says that the Story of Love concert is an antidote to the social and political breakdown unleashed in recent times and the general fracturing of societies and communities around the world. “In many places around the world we are witnessing the shattering and tearing apart of community. Brexit is threatening the stability of the EU and fracturing the UK. The North’s peace process is now a cause for concern.” (Listen to full podcast interview here:)

Willie says, “amongst the people, who live their lives in an everyday, ordinary world, there is another voice being heard. Young people especially are talking about the vision of unity and community that first inspired the founding fathers of the European Community. There is a growing call from almost every side for a new spirited re-emphasis of these founding values. The Story of Love answers this deep felt need for human solidarity and caring for one another and our planet.”

Michael Flatley of Lord of the Dance fame, has said about Willie Hughes, “How wonderful to see someone follow their dream in bringing to the stage a production centred on that most noble of sentiments - Love.”

The concert is a four-part love story of love, loss, forgiveness and reconciliation told through song. Jesuit author Brian Grogan supervised the storyline and says a key theme in the concert concerns our responsibility as a race to the earth, our common home. “A new vision is needed today to ensure our collective survival. ‘Without vision the people perish’ as we say. The vision of artists can help us here and I know of no vision more profound than what is portrayed by Willie Hughes in The Story of Love. It offers hope that together we can forge a caring world in which everyone can share.”

The Story of Love creates a tangible connection to the positive power of global togetherness. Concert goers will be greatly entertained by beautiful singing, musical and artistic performance. They will come away with inspiration and hope, an experience which is uplifting. The purpose of the concert is to empower people that they can make a difference in saving and minding “Our Common Home”. He says The Story of Love has a message for politicians, economists, business people and everyone of goodwill. “The message is that love for others and for our endangered planet is the key to the wellbeing of the human race.”

The concert will be streamed live to millions around the world through Click To Pray, the Pope’s official player platform, a project from the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

The concert has a production team of top Irish professionals including Niamh White, former director of The Late Late Show; Mark Cahill music producer for Liam Lawton; Fiona Cunningham production designer The Voice of Ireland; Luis Peveda, Riverdance. After the performances in Knock Co Mayo, The Story of Love will tour the USA.

The lead singing roles are performed by Italian singers, supported by Irish musicians, and enhanced by visual artistic presentations reflecting life from creation to ultimate redemption through the power of human love. The finale of the concert, a spectacular piece “We Believe It’s All About Love” will be delivered by the Universal Choir of Love, which comprises of choirs from across the globe - the Sistine Chapel Choir, Rome; St Patricks Cathedral, New York; along with choirs from Melbourne and Nigeria, who will sing in unison with the Knock Basilica Choir, augmented by singers from 8 other countries. 

Concert composter Willie Hughes says the aim of the concert is to celebrate the interconnectedness and the interdependence of humanity, planet earth and the divine. “We all know that the world is in a mess, with greed threatening to choke everything. But peoples' hearts are good. We want to touch them with an experience of global togetherness”, says Hughes.

While the concert's primary focus is on togetherness it is by no means all milk and honey, according to Hughes. “It has a steel core that doesn't pull its punches but hits hard against global greed. We’ll be screening images of child slave labour in Ivory Coast and Ghana where 70% of all chocolate comes from. These are set against images of supermarket shelves laden with confectionary. Pictures of mutilated so-called blood diamond workers in West Africa are set against images of luxury jewelry on sale worldwide.”

The Knock Basilica concerts on October 15 and 16, 2016 mark the world premier for the Story of Love International Tour which commences in Spring 2017, with performances in St Patricks Cathedral, New York. Willie Hughes says that Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared to the local people of Knock at a time when they were in great distress, suffering from famine and poverty, so it’s a fitting place for the concert.

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