Grave and merry

Recently I cohosted with actor John Mahoney (of the TV show Frasier) an annual event called "Jubilate." It supports Chicago's Bonaventure House, where the Alexian Brothers serve AIDS victims, who also serve each other. Each year such opera singers as Catherine Malfitano, Samuel Ramey and the friend who got me into all this, Susanne Mentzer, donate their services.

Lacking expertise in both opera and AIDS care, I introduced the program by exegeting an emotion I have each year when I am in the Jubilate audience or at similar events elsewhere.

How can we "rejoice"—which is what the psalm that gives us the word "jubilate" asks us to do and as the performers lead us to do—in the face of disease, the need for care, the images of suffering people?


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