Art and organ on view at church fair in Carnegie

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The late Frank DeAndrea of Fox Chapel was noted for his generous spirit and easygoing manner, and the same could be said for his son, Mark.

Mark DeAndrea, a Scott resident and parishioner at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Carnegie, recently donated to the parish one of his fathers' paintings -- a modern interpretation of the Pieta, the Renaissance sculpture of Mary and Jesus by Michelangelo Buonarroti.

"I wanted more people to be able to see the painting." said Mr. DeAndrea of his father's work, which now hangs in the St. Maximilian Kolbe Room at the church.

"My father was a good man who was very generous to many people. He also painted a lot of portraits of priests," said Mr. DeAndrea.

The painting, along with another commissioned by the pastor, the Rev. David Poecking, can be seen at the parish's ecclesiastical arts fair Saturday.

The fair begins at 1 p.m. with an open house to view the new artwork at the parish.

Also scheduled is a presentation by Patrick Murphy of Patrick Murphy & Associates of Stowe, which built the church's new pipe organ.

The instrument features 26 sets of pipes -- 1,422 in all -- with the longest pipe 16 feet in length and shortest the size of a pencil.

Bishop David Zubik will dedicate the pipe organ at 4 p.m.

Organist Nicholas Will, director of music at the parish, will perform an organ recital beginning at 7:30 p.m. together with a performance by the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra, directed by Warren Davidson.

Also on view will be a painting of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton by New England artist Janet McKenzie.

Ms. McKenzie gained an international reputation in the world of art with her painting "Jesus of the People," which won the National Catholic Reporters' millennial competition for a new image of Jesus in 1999.

Roman Catholic nun and art historian Sister Wendy Beckett highlighted the painting on her PBS show, "Sister Wendy's Story of Painting," calling it a "haunting image."

Father Poecking said Ms. McKenzie's painting of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was unveiled at an exhibit of her artwork in September at Carlow College, but the painting's permanent home will be at the Carnegie parish.

"The painting is striking for its use of color and the portrayal of racial inclusiveness which is a hallmark of Janet McKenzie's art," Father Poecking said.

The art fair will also be an opportunity for Father Poecking to introduce to the community the many renovations at the former St. Luke church and school on Third Avenue.

Until 2004, the church been a worship site for the consolidated St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish, which was formed from the 1992 merger of St. Luke, Holy Souls, St. Ignatius, St. Joseph and Immaculate Conception parishes.

After Hurricane Ivan flood waters damaged the church in 2004, the parish was forced to move its worship site to St. Ignatius in Scott.

But it moved back to Carnegie in November 2011 after extensive restoration and renovation work.

A number of features from the closed parishes were incorporated into the new structure.

There are statues of Mary and SS. Ignatius, Joseph, Luke and Vincent DePaul behind the altar.

Reliefs carved by Chicago artists Jeffrey and Anna Koh-Varilla, made possible by a donation from the Italian Sons & Daughters of America, Imperial Lodge 42 grace the apse wall behind the altar in memory of the patrons of Holy Souls Church.

A series of stained glass windows preserved from the Holy Souls church line the wall near the main entrance to the church.

The altar and baptismal font are carved from Irish Connemara marble retrieved from the former St. Luke Church.

The Immaculate Conception Chapel and the St. Maximilian Kolbe Room, housing artifacts from the St. Ignatius parish, help to keep memories of those two churches alive.


Bob Podurgiel, freelance writer:


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