News

News from Shem Center For Interfaith Spirituality

It’s Time to Pay Attention to the Health of Palestinians

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | January 3, 2023

By Yara M. Asi

Ms. Asi is an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida’s School of Global Health Management and Informatics.

As published in The New York Times, December 29, 2022.

As a Researcher, I study the health of Palestinians. The blockade of my hometown, Nablus, this past October devastated the Palestinian community there in ways that are hard to measure.

This year, during the lead-up to the Israeli elections, I returned to my hometown, Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, to work on a research project and spend time with my family there.

Read More
We Have Family in Ukraine

Letter From Ukraine, December 22, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | December 28, 2022

Dear sisters, dear brothers, 

I never thought that one could long for lights. When I got off the Kyiv train in Warsaw, I was surprised by the festival of brightly lit streets, buildings, and, above all, colorful Christmas decorations. When you add to it the snow that just fell in Poland in abundant supply, it all looked like a New Year’s fairytale. In Ukraine, the last couple months have been getting colder and darker. The longer this lasts, the more I squint my eyes in disbelief when looking at the bright streets and storefronts as well as entering warm houses and priories abroad.

Read More
We Have Family in Ukraine

Letter From Ukraine, December 3, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | December 5, 2022

Dear sisters, dear brothers, 

Once again Fr. Misha, the volunteers from Saint Martin, and I traveled to Izium and Balakliya. This time we were joined by Mr. Bartosz Cichocki, the Polish ambassador to Ukraine. He’s one of the diplomats who didn’t abandon their posts in Kyiv at the beginning of the war. He and his wife Monika strongly support all kinds of activities and centers of aid, including the House of Saint Martin in Fastiv. We spent three days on the road. The ambassador unloaded the buses and distributed aid to the needy just like the rest of us. The children of the small village of Kun’je outside of Izium were in awe of the toys, reflective armbands, and backpacks. People here live very simply, so the colorful gifts for the kids caused joy and broke the dreariness of life. At the store in the center of the village where we were distributing humanitarian aid, our presence caused a substantial crowd to gather. I suspect that Fr. Krzysztof, the prior from Korbielów, a famous car and motorcycle enthusiast, would be in heaven if he could see this living museum of automotive industry.

Read More
We have family in Myanmar

Dominican Month of Peace 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | December 5, 2022

Our sisters and brothers in Myanmar have been subjected to atrocities and human rights violation which has gone unreported in the main media. Recently, the military broke into the Dominican Sisters convent in Loikaw and encamped there while others moved into the friars’ convent. Luckily, neither the sisters nor the friars were in the convents at the time. We understand that the soldiers ransacked the rooms and took whatever was valuable.

Please pray each week for our sisters and brothers in Myanmar who continue to face threat to their lives daily. We ask that you remember our sisters and brothers in Ukraine who also continue to face life-threatening situations and destruction of property.

Read More
We Have Family in Ukraine

Letter From Ukraine, October 31, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | November 2, 2022

Dear Sisters, Dear Brothers,

Evenings are now dark on the streets of Ukrainian cities. Due to the need to save electricity, most of the lights are off. Recently, when I was leaving the store, I saw a beautiful German Shepherd, which looked at me with curiosity. The dog then started speaking with a woman’s voice. I was astonished! After a few seconds, however, I realized his owner was sitting next to the dog. Disguised by darkness and invisible to the world, she was speaking loudly on the phone.

Read More
We Have Family in Ukraine

Letter From Ukraine, September 14, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | November 2, 2022

Dear sisters, dear brothers,

It has been 200 days since the beginning of the war. Although the Ukrainian army’s most recent military achievements and the lifting of Russian occupation in the territories of the Kharkiv Oblast and the south of the country brought us joy, hope, and expectation, we are all aware that the road to full victory remains long. Today, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, by the initiative of the Council of the European Episcopal Conferences, we are celebrating in Ukraine the Day of Prayer for Peace. It is celebrated under the motto: “Kneeling before the Eucharist crying for peace.” I’m very grateful to Archbishop Gintarasa for this idea. He visited Ukraine in July, and since he is Lithuanian, I’m sure he understands perfectly well how godless and terrible the ideology of “Russian peace” could be.

Read More

A Moonlight Speech, October 11, 1962 

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | November 2, 2022

Sixty years ago, the first night of the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII came out on a balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square and gave his impromptu remarks now called “the moonlight speech.” I remember it well, making its way into the world via the news media.

Looking out over the crowd and smiling the Pope said,

“Here all the world is represented. One might even say that the moon rushed here this evening – Look at her high up there – to behold this spectacle.”

Read More

A Meeting Remembered, Albert Nolan, O.P., 1934-2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | October 24, 2022

It was in December of 1999, a day at The Parliament of the World’s Religions assembled in Cape Town, South Africa. I had chosen to wear my Dominican habit by way of giving witness to my religious order’s public declaration of its interfaith mission of dialogue and respect for all faith traditions and spiritual paths. I chose to wear my religious habit, one worn by many illustrious women and men for nearly eight centuries as members of the Order of Preachers. There were of course many others in national and religious garb making this gathering of some 7000 participants from 80 countries a colorful display of our diversity.

Read More

Stephen Miller, new Assistant Director of Shem Center 

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | September 16, 2022

With gratitude and anticipation Shem Center announces the appointment of Steve Miler to Shem Center’s staff as Assistant Director with Joe Kilikevice, its Founding Director. Steve’s involvement with Shem Center’s Male Spirit program for many years both as a participant and co-leader with Joe holds an impressive history of creative, joyful, profoundly moving and memorable sacred gatherings.

Read More
We Have Family in Ukraine

Letter from Ukaraine, August 18, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | August 24, 2022

Dear Sisters, Dear Brothers,

I have to admit that Saint Hyacinth becomes closer and closer to me every year. I see my ministry in Ukraine as a realization of his desire to preach the Gospel on the shores of the Dnieper. I had the great joy of visiting Rome on Holy Saturday this year, when I went to the Basilica of Santa Sabina, accompanied by Father Alain, the socius to the Master of the Order, and I could see its fresco depicting the vestition of Saint Hyacinth. These days, many people visiting this Dominican church on Aventine are praying for Ukraine, often using special prayers provided by the brothers.

Read More
Joseph Kilikevice, OP, Director of Shem Center and Gerard Francisco Timoner, OP, Master of the Order of Preachers

Dominican Order of Friars Chicago Assembly 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | August 24, 2022

An Assembly of some 150 Dominican Friars of the Central USA Province of the international Order of Preachers gathered in Chicago August 8-11, 2022. Matters of common concern are considered periodically by members of the Order to examine, evaluate, update and improve the life and mission of our religious order.

Read More
The Last Tisha B'Av

The Last Tisha B’Av: A Tale of New Temples

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | August 14, 2022

By Rabbis Arthur Waskow & Phyllis Berman
From The Shalom Report, The Shalom Center

In the Abuhav synagogue in Tz’fat (Safed) there is actually on the ceiling a painting of the Dome of the Rock, built by Muslims in that extraordinary place that both Muslims and Jews view as holy above the rock where Isaac or Ishmael was bound for offering; above the rock from which Muhammad began his mystical ascent to Heaven.

Read More

Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality
708 North Harvey Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302

(708) 848-1095
shemcenter1993@gmail.com

Photo Credits: Emory Mead, Stephen B. Starr, Joseph Kilikevice

The Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality website is awarded a 2022 American Digital Design Award for excellence in design and user experience.

2022 American Digital Design Awards