Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Dana to sing for Pope in front of 60,000 in New York

Eurovision winner Dana will perform for the Pope at Yankee Stadium next weekend

The singer, who became a household name after she became the first person from Ireland to win the Eurovision song contest in 1970, has been asked to perform at the Pontiff's pre-Mass concert in New York on Sunday, April 20.

Around 60,000 people representing 195 dioceses will be at the event which also features performances by artists such as Harry Connick Jnr and Il Divo.

The concert will mark the end of Pope Benedict's first visit to the US as Pontiff.

His short trip includes a two-day stop in Washington DC, and two days in New York, ending with the Papal Mass at the stadium.

While this will be Dana's first performance for Pope Benedict - it is not the first time she has sung for a Pope.

In the past two decades Dana, who also became a MEP in 1999, performed for Pope John Paul II on several occasions.

Pope prepares for first US trip

In 1987 she was invited to lead 86,000 young people in singing her composition "Totus Tuus" for Pope John Paul II in the New Orleans Super Dome.

At the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado, Dana again sang for the late Pontiff, leading over 280,000 young people with her song "We are one Body," which was chosen as the World Youth Day Theme song.

While next weekend's concert will be Dana's first performance for Pope Benedict, it is not the first time they have met.

In 2004, Dana was personally congratulated by the then Cardinal Ratzinger after she became the first woman to be awarded the highly acclaimed San Benedetto (St Benedict) Award in Subiacco, Italy, for her outstanding work, as MEP, in upholding Family and Life.

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