Shem Center For Interfaith Spirituality

Shem is an Aramaic word expressing the Divine radiance and splendor in all of creation.

 SHEM Center for Interfaith Spirituality offers the sojourners of all spiritual paths and faith traditions, as well as those who claim none, a sacred space where all are respectfully welcomed to encounter the wisdom found in the sacred traditions of the peoples of the world. 

A Moonlight Speech, October 11, 1962

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. 

A Challenge Grant to Shem Center

Once again The Wolcott/Ebbeler Foundation, our supportive friends of many years, is offering you a way to have your donations to Shem Center increase by way of their matching gift.

The Wolcott/Ebbeler Foundation
Shem Center For Interfaith Spirituality

Shem Center Programs

Shem Center offers experiences of the prayer, meditation, rituals, and the wisdom of the peoples of the world. In doing so, each takes a place at the table with others whose spiritual tradition may be similar to or different from one’s own. 

Martin Luther King Jr.

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."


An Interfaith Greeting of Peace


These three words in Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic are used in turn as greetings of peace by Jews, Christians and Muslims, the followers of the three Abrahamic religions.


Recognizing that the Divine Reality is not limited to any one expression of our journey with God, Shem Center takes its place with many others committed to the task of bringing peace into the world through understanding, respect and friendship. 

Shem Center For Interfaith Spirituality


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.

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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.

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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.

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Welcome to Shem Center. Contact Us!

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

(708) 848-1095

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