USF adds “Messiah” to slate of holiday events

Nov. 4, 2013 FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Those who look forward to the annual University of Saint Francis Christmas tradition, Christmas at USF, will have even more to enjoy this season, as the university has added new events and partnerships to its extended yuletide celebration.

The area’s first full-scale production of Handel’s “Messiah” in several years will be staged at the USF Performing Arts Center, with Heartland, the Heartland Festival Chorus and Orchestra, the University Singers and internationally renowned soloists. A partnership with the Christ Child Festival will bring the decades-old Fort Wayne tradition to the center’s holiday lineup for the first time.

Christmas at USF features events the first three weekends in December. Many are free, and all have free parking. An event schedule with details follows. More information is also available at

Handel’s “Messiah” will be presented Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the USF Performing Arts Center, the former Scottish Rite, at 431 W. Berry St. The citywide performance of the immortal work will feature the professional singers of Heartland, the Heartland Festival Chorus and Orchestra, the University Singers and internationally renowned soloists. Tickets are $30 for reserved seating, $20 for general admission and $5 for students over 13. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Heartland at (260) 436-8080 or visiting USF faculty, staff and students can receive free tickets by showing USF identification at the Heartland Chamber Chorale office on Leesburg Road.

“Star of Bethlehem 2013,” a planetarium show, will be offered Saturday, Dec. 7 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8 at 12:30 and 3 p.m.; and Dec. 13-15 and 20-22 at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays; at 3 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays; and at 5 p.m. on Sundays in Schouweiler Planetarium, Achatz Hall on the main campus at 2701 Spring St. The 90-minute program follows the path of the Wise Men in 3 B.C., then views Fort Wayne’s winter sky. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for visitors under 18 and senior citizens. A maximum of $14 per family is charged. Parking is off Leesburg Road.

Christmas in the Castle will be from noon-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 7 and 8 and 14 and 15. Visitors will see historic Brookside, the former Bass mansion, decorated for Christmas by local florists and designers. Admission is $5 per person, with a $20 maximum for a family of six. Tickets can be purchased in the North Campus lobby, 2702 Spring St., on event days. Free parking and shuttles for those with mobility issues are available at the North Campus.

A Living Nativity with children’s petting zoo will take place Sunday, Dec. 8, with the petting zoo open from 5-5:45 p.m. and the Living Nativity at 6 p.m. in the amphitheater next to the Pope John Paul II Center on the main campus. Members of the university community present a Living Nativity, which recalls the tradition of re-enacting the first Christmas, started in 1223 by St. Francis of Assisi. The event is free, with parking off Leesburg Road.

Lighting of the Lake will honor special loved ones on Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. in the Pope John Paul II Center amphitheater, in concert with the Living Nativity. As a symbol of Christmas, vigil lights will encircle part of Mirror Lake. Luminaries dedicated to loved ones can be purchased for the light display. Luminaries can be order for $10 each by calling(260) 399-8037 by Dec. 4. The event is free.

A Fair Trade Alternative Shopping Bazaar will be conducted on Sunday, Dec. 8 from noon-5:30 p.m. at the North Campus. The shopping bazaar offers high-quality, fairly traded handicrafts of disadvantaged producers from all over the world. “Fair trade” means that producers earn a fair price, get access to credit and training, and maintain long-term relationships with principled organizations.

USF’s “Share the Warmth” collection drive will run from Dec. 2-15 in the lobbies of the North Campus and the Pope John Paul II Center. Teaming with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, USF will collect hats, scarves, mittens and gloves for the community. Donations can be placed in collection containers in the lobbies during Christmas at USF events.

“Illustrators 55,” a free traveling exhibition by the New York Society of Illustrators, will be open from Nov. 23-Dec. 20 in the Weatherhead Gallery, Rolland Center for Art and Visual Communication. The gallery will be closed for Thanksgiving on Nov. 28 and 29. The exhibition features 46 of the most outstanding works created throughout the year. Pieces have appeared in magazine and newspaper publications, adult and children's books, calendars, theater posters, fashion labels, CD and album art and advertisements for major corporations. In conjunction with “Illustrators 55,” the Goldfish Gallery will display an exhibit by Frank Liljegren, a nationally recognized commercial illustrator in New York in the 1950s-60s. More information is available at

The William and Joan McNagny collection of sacred icons will be displayed in the Lupke Gallery at the North Campus from Nov. 18 through Jan. 17, 2014, with closures on Nov. 28 and 29 and Dec. 24-Jan. 1 for holidays. This collection of Byzantine and religious icons dates to the 17th through 19th centuries, and includes multicolored enamels on brass and paintings on wooden sacred subjects. The exhibit is free.

The Christ Child Festival will be held on Friday, Dec. 6 from 6-9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 from noon-8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8 from noon-5 p.m. in the USF Performing Arts Center, 431 W. Berry St. The festival reminds us of the reason for the season. A living Nativity, exhibits, speakers, artwork and multicultural foods will be included.

The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. The university’s College of Adult Learning designs focused curriculum for working adults by offering online and accelerated programs, through its Virtual, Fort Wayne and Crown Point campuses. More than 2,400 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence.

Media Contacts

For all University-related matters, please contact:

Trois Hart
Associate Vice President of Marketing
T: 260.399.8050
C: 260.415.2401

Yvonne Schroeder
Director of Communication
T: 260.399.7700 ext. 6413

Sandie Phalen
Director of Marketing and Development
Crown Point
T: 219.488.8888 ext. 5421


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