News

News from Shem Center For Interfaith Spirituality

We Have Family in Ukraine

Letter From Ukraine, June 11, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | June 13, 2022

Dear Sisters, Dear Brothers,

Today I made a phone call to an older woman whose son fights on the frontlines. “Good morning, this is Father Jarosław…” On the other end: silence. I introduced myself again and explained why I’m calling. After a while, she told me that the unfamiliar male voice in the receiver had surprised and frightened her. How true; during wartime a phone call like this could have brought bad news about her son. Mrs. Nadia isn’t the only mother though, or wife or daughter, who picks up the phone with apprehension. 

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We Have Family in Ukraine

Letter From Ukraine, May 16, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | May 31, 2022

Dear Friends of Shem Center, Here is another letter received from my Dominican brother in Ukraine. Fr. Jaroslaw Krawiec, OP, the Vicar Provincial from Poland ministering in Ukraine. His account of life there reports on details not seen on our news accounts. Should you feel moved to support his work in Ukraine with those displaced…

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Kyiv before the war

Notes from Ukraine, Sunday, May 22, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | May 27, 2022

PICTURED ABOVE: The City of Kyiv before the invasion by Putin.

I received this latest letter from my Dominican Brother Jarosław and share it here with the friends of Shem Center. He writes about what ordinary life is like for them in Kyiv and also includes some news of particular interest to the Dominican family of Brothers and Sisters throughout the world.

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We Have Family in Ukraine

Letter from Ukraine, May 11, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | May 26, 2022

I just received another letter from my Dominican brother in Ukraine, Fr. Jarosław Krawiec OP with an account of life in Kyiv. I am struck by the seeming ordinariness of how they are facing the challenges and disappointments of living within a war that is causing so much loss and pain. The courage and commitment to life among the people is inspiring.

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I Am Ukrainian Now

I Am Ukrainian Now

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | May 6, 2022

Tom Paxton and John McCutcheon have written a heartfelt, stirring song, “Ukrainian Now.” that touches us all. Noel Paul Stookey edited this beautiful video that includes the voices of Peter Yarrow, Bill Miller, Tret Fure, Holly Near, Emma’s Revolution, Rebel Voices, Crys Matthews, Carrie Newcomer, Christine Lavin and Joe Jencks – whose playing of the electric bouzouki adds a haunting compliment to the piano of McCutcheon.

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Ukrainian Flag

Notes from Ukraine, Thursday, May 5, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | May 6, 2022

“Father, the air raid alarm has been going for over two hours. Are you in the shelter?” As I was beginning to write, I received this message from Vera, from the House of Saint Martin in Fastiv. Tonight, just like yesterday, the air raid was announced covering almost the whole country; the news reported multiple rocket attacks in different cities of Ukraine. Although the attacks are mostly aimed at railroads and strategic locations, we all know those rockets don’t always hit their targets.

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Opray Chittister Interview

“The Time is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage”

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | April 19, 2022

Author, activist and Benedictine nun Sister Joan Chittister discusses her newest book, The Time Is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage. In a powerful conversation, Sister Joan defines what it means to be a prophet in today’s modern world, and challenges us to combat complacency and apathy in our own lives. She outlines the key steps…

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We Have Family in Ukraine

Notes from Ukraine, Saturday, April 2, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | April 4, 2022

Yesterday Kyiv had one of its quietest days since the beginning of the war. I didn’t hear a single siren, although when I looked at the “Digital Kyiv” app, I found out there had been two air raid alarms. Only two; other days there had been as many as twenty. Yesterday you couldn’t hear repeated explosions, but only something like a distant “thunder” from time to time.

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“O God, one and great, protect our Ukraine” – Notes from Ukraine, Saturday, March 26, 2022

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

Like many of the faithful around the world, we spent yesterday focused on Mary, Mother of God. In the evening, together with a few fathers and most of the people who now live in our priory, we went to the Kyiv Cathedral of Saint Alexander where, in spiritual unity with Pope Francis, we prayed the Act of Consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Most Sacred Heart of Mary. The Mass was presided by Bishop Vitalij, the ordinary of the Kyiv-Zhytomyr diocese.

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We Have Family in Ukraine

An Update From the Dominican Friars in Ukraine, March 22, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | March 25, 2022

This letter from the Vicar of the Dominican Friars in Ukraine is very moving and contains a link to a letter written to the Dominican family in Ukraine by Timothy Radcliffe, former head of the Order.

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We Have Family in Ukraine

Letter from Jarosław Krawiec OP in Ukraine, Saturday, March 19, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | March 21, 2022

After almost an hour of driving from Kyiv, Father Thomas and I have reached Fastiv. I always visit this city and the brothers and sisters working there with great pleasure. Just before I left this morning, I met a woman who had managed to evacuate a few days earlier from one of the cities outside of Kyiv that had been destroyed by the Russians.

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We Have Family in Ukraine

Notes from Ukraine, Tuesday, March 15, 2022

By Joseph Kilikevice O.P. | March 17, 2022

In the last few days, Kyiv has become unsettled. The noise of blaring sirens has become more frequent, which means increased risk of air raids. I also seem to sense an increase in the sounds of battles fought on the outskirts of the city, all kinds of explosions, and the hiss and whizz of things flying over our heads.

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