Star-Studded Concert Prior To Pope Francis’ Mass in New York City

Early attendees are seated and await the arrival of Pope Francis for mass at Madison Square Garden on September 25, 2015 in New York City. The Pope ends his New York visit after a day of activities with the mass at Madison Square Garden and leaves for Philadelphia in the …
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New York City, NY

A star-studded concert is preceding Pope Francis’ celebration of Mass on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The program, called “A Journey of Faith,” features Gloria Estefan, who will sing “Mas Alla (Beyond),” a Spanish spiritual ballad that she recorded in 1995, and which she also sang for Pope John Paul II.

“I got to put that on my resume … ‘Warmed up crowd for the Pope,'” Estefan told ET.

Estefan, a Grammy-award winner, said she hopes to do her best.

“Nervous? Of course!” she said. “If you don’t get nervous before getting up in front of a lot of people much more so when the Pope is involved then something is wrong with you. You’re not human or something.”

“I feel particularly blessed to be able to sing for the first Latin Pope in history, who was the son of immigrants in his home country of Argentina,” Estefan also said.

Actress and singer Kelli O’Hara, a Tony-award winner for The King and I, will sing Malotte’s “The Lord’s Prayer” solo, and will join others for “Amazing Grace.”

“I have done a lot of pinching myself,” O’Hara told The Daily News. “I will be nervous, of course. But what I am is honored.”

O’Hara said her “whole Catholic family” will be in the audience for her performance.

Norm Lewis will sing “Ave Maria,” Jennifer Hudson will perform “Hallelujah,” and Harry Connick, Jr. will offer “How Great Thou Art.” Martin Sheen, Rosanna Scotto, James (D Train) Williams, and other groups and choirs are also adding their talents to the concert, a joint effort of the Archdiocese of New York and the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Center for Thought and Culture.