Cardinal presides over 'symphonic homage and prayer' at Symphony Hall
By Donis TracyPilot Correspondent
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
"There is no facile explanation for the suffering of the innocents," Cardinal O'Malley said, noting that it is a reality which "touches all of us deeply."
"The Shoah has been one of the darkest moments of our time," the cardinal continued, adding "it is only in God's love that the suffering of the innocents can be endured."
Cardinal O'Malley then urged the audience to "be like Mary near the cross, bringing love to a world full of pain."
"We profess that God is love and at the foot of the cross Mary teaches that love is stronger than death," the cardinal said.
The evening concluded with the 90 person choir singing "Shema Yisrael," the central prayer in the Jewish prayerbook. Afterward, the audience was also invited to stand and sing it together.
"I had tears in my eyes when everyone sang the Shema," said Robert Liekind, director of the American Jewish Committee. "It was immensely moving. The sense of our common heritage, our common roots, really came out."
"This couldn't have been possible 50 years ago," added Rabbi Barry Starr from Temple Israel in Sharon. "We have made a lot of strides on the path of reconciliation, and I am truly grateful that I was here to witness to this."
"This has been moving and touching to my heart," Rabbi Starr added.
Marybeth Bisson, parishioner at Most Precious Blood Parish of Dover, also said she also was moved by the symphony.
"We have been to a lot of symphonies," Bisson said. "This was everything they said it was going to be and more. Absolutely phenomenal."
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