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Detroit choir heading to the Vatican

Wolfgang Stuck

Pope Francis may not have plans to stop in Michigan when he visits the U.S. next fall, but a Detroit choir is planning to go see him.

The Archdiocesan Chorus of Detroit already had plans to visit Rome in January when they received an invitation to sing in a mass at the Vatican.

And yes, His Holiness will definitely be there.

Joe Balistreri, the choir's director, said the group will perform on the Feast of the Epiphany.

“For Italians, [the Feast of the Epiphany] is as big as Christmas, so we’re very, very honored and humbled to receive that invitation," he said.

The chorus will sing a prelude before singing portions of the Mass. 

Balistreri said the invitation is the highest honor a visiting choir can receive.

"The choir couldn't believe it at first [when I told them]." he said.  "There was sort of a hushed and awed reaction, and then everybody was cheering."

Balistreri said Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron is trying to rearrange his schedule to accompany the group.

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