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Cardinal presides over 'symphonic homage and prayer' at Symphony Hall


Conductor of the Orchestra and Choir of the Neocatechumenal Way, Pau Jorquera, leads the choir and audience members in singing the Jewish prayer "Shema Yisrael" during the "symphonic homage and prayer" entitled "The Suffering of the Innocents" May 6 at Boston's Symphony Hall. The celebration, presided over by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, was an homage to all innocent victims and especially those of the Holocaust. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

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BOSTON -- Boston's Symphony Hall served as a meeting point for representatives of the Catholic and Jewish communities of Boston May 6, as more than 2,000 people gathered to hear a "symphonic homage and prayer" entitled "The Suffering of the Innocents" presided over by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley.

The symphony was composed by Kiko Arguello, one of the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way, an itinerary of formation within the Catholic Church. According to Arguello, he began to compose the symphony in 2010 as an homage to all innocent victims and especially those of the Holocaust, known among the Jewish people as the "Shoah."

The symphony was first performed for Pope Benedict XVI in 2011. Since then, it has become a catalyst between the Jewish and Catholic community, having been performed several times in Israel.

"At first, I didn't imagine how the Lord was going to use the symphony," Arguello said. "Now we have come to understand that the Lord wants to use us to get (the Church) closer to the Jewish people."

The May 6 performance was the U.S. premiere of the symphony, which was also to be performed in New York and Chicago.

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