Tender words and misty eyes recalled the suffering of the deceased when the Gay Catholic Ministry of Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church held a World AIDS Day Candlelight Service and Memorial Ribbon Project in Park Slope.
The second annual observance, part of an international campaign call to the theme of “I Am,” featured a choral recital by NYC Outloud, a musical group dedicated to promoting tolerance and acceptance of the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community, plus a guest address by Ann Citarella, a Sister of Charity and founding member of the Gay and Lesbian Catholic Ministry at St. Francis Xavier Church in Manhattan.
Red ribbons gracing the exterior of the house of worship, 116 Sixth Avenue, bore the names of deceased loved ones, and an exhibition of paintings entitled “Preparation Series” by Maureen Mullen chronicled the artist and educator’s experience of supporting a loved one “as he made the journey through AIDS.”
Mullen’s paintings celebrated “the healing that love makes possible” in the maze of challenges posed by AIDS,” said a Ministry spokesperson, adding that World AIDS Day called to hold individuals, religious leaders, faith organizations, international and national governments and agencies accountable for the commitments they have made to fight HIV and AIDS.
According to the Ministry, 33 million people in the world are living with AIDS, approximately two million of whom are children; and more than two million have died from AIDS since 2007.
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