From the Director

Shem Center For Interfaith Spirituality

Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality
Joseph Kilikevice, Founding Director
Steven G. Miller, Assistant Director

The Sounds of Christmas, Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality, 2022

An audio monitor sends small reassuring baby sounds from the nursery where a three month old child sleeps.
— sounds of Christmas

Animal breaths keep them warm, infant sounds in this stable, no nursery monitor here, but prelude sounds to words that will be spoken one day to a crowd on a hillside. “Blessed are you peacemakers, and you who grieve, and forgive, and remember me.”
— sounds of Christmas

Bombs, missiles, destroyed buildings, women, children and their pets, elderly in basements and subways, cries of grief, and words of resolve, a flag of sky blue and harvest yellow folded with love hidden until an unknown day of liberation, tears and sobs, hands touch the train’s glass window, lips move to silent words of love and farewell.
— sounds of Christmas

Arlington National Cemetery, stepping from the bullet proof limousine he pauses, looks and utters a single word, “Losers!” Civility ditched beside the road, patriot’s dishonored, lies and insults replace facts and truth. Refugees escape from a violent homeland to yet more violence, hope filled words sung in foreign tongues, a wall and a forgotten message, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
— sounds of Christmas

Butterflies, bees and other life forms become extinct as planet earth rapidly warms.
— sounds of Christmas

Abraham’s family — Jews, Christians, Muslims and LGBTQ persons, people of color, children, migrants, random citizens, gunshots commingle with carols, and now over 600 mass shootings this year—Silent night, holy night, when blossoms flowered mid the snow upon a winter’s night.
— sounds of Christmas

Yet still we trumpet silent nights, peaceful days keeping hope alive.
— Br. Joseph Kilikevice

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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