- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2014

The canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II is past, but celebrations to honor the Catholic Church’s two newest saints continue around the D.C. area.

On May 5, the Archdiocese of Washington is hosting a concert called “Peace through Music ‘In Our Age,’” to honor both men.

The concert will be held at Constitution Hall, and is sponsored by the Georgetown University, as well as the ambassadors of Poland, Italy and Argentina.

“This is our chance as Americans, for the world, to show the tremendous love that … people of all faiths have for both John Paul II and John XXIII,” said Gilbert Levine, the U.S. conductor spearheading the concert.

The former popes were canonized Sunday.

Mr. Levine, known as “the pope’s maestro,” worked with John Paul on several musical endeavors for nearly 20 years.

The concert gets its name from the Nostra Aetate (Latin for “In Our Age”), which was declared by Pope Paul VI in 1965 and adopted by the Second Vatican Council. It calls for “dialogue and collaboration“ between the Catholic Church and other faiths such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Among the pieces chosen for the concert are the “Chichester Psalms,” a choral work by Leonard Bernstein that will be sung in Hebrew, and “Sanctus” from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem.

The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, which performs in Carnegie Hall in New York, is set to perform, as is the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra, based in Poland.

“This concert is taking place in the capital city of the most influential country on the planet,” said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington. “It’s taking place in the capital, it’s taking place at the seat of Georgetown University, it’s taking place involving this archdiocesan church, and it’s bringing together the genius of artistic talent … All of that coming together to say it’s a new moment and it’s our turn.”

The concert is scheduled to be broadcast on PBS; however, tickets are still available. They are free, but concert-goers must reserve their tickets at https://www.georgetown.edu/may-5-canonization-concert.html.

• Meredith Somers can be reached at msomers@washingtontimes.com.

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