Dominican Institute for the Arts
Joseph Kilikevice OP
Searching for Truth and Beauty. Preaching through the Transforming Power of the Arts

Brother Joseph Kilikevice, OP is a friar of the Central Province of the Dominican Order in the Catholic Church. He founded the Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality during the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions. He has offered interfaith retreats throughout the country for over 20 years. Approaching the world’s religions and spiritual paths experientially, forms of prayer, meditation and ritual are presented as a way into the wisdom found these traditions. 

The Dances of Universal Peace are used as a spiritual means for these experiences. He draws inspiration from the Second Vatical Council document, “Nostra Aetate,” (On the Church’s Relations with Non-Christian Religions) and subsequent mandates from General Chapters of the International Dominican Order, calling for an end of hostilities and a commitment to healing relationships between Christianity and the other religions of the world. 

SHEM Center for Interfaith Spirituality  
708 N. Harvey Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois, 60302-1742

Brother Joe receiving the Sister Pat Brady Award for his service to the Dominican High School Preaching Conference presented by Sister Mary Soher, OP
Photo: Gina Fleming OP
Jim Barnett OP and Joe
  Br. Joseph Kilikevice, OP., Jeffrey Wagner, classical pianist, Jean Bacom-Detmer, flutist, Michael Surratt, organist

Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality annual concert of classical music, titled, “Where All Paths Meet.” Sunday, April 27, 2014, First United Church of Oak Park, Illinois. 


Who laced up your sneakers this morning?
Tying your shoes had become an intimate moment with mama or papa, or sometimes big brother, chatting about a new adventure the day will bring. Soon you’ll proclaim in triumph,“I can do it,
I can do it myself!”
Your sneakers escort you every day
on your way to discover your world.
They are silent witnesses to your laughter and tears, dangling and swinging as you sit in a chair
too high for your feet to reach the floor.
When hoisting you up for hugs
these two companions leave the ground with you
to receive hugs accompanied by smiles and giggles. Papa says your next new pair will be a half size larger. But for now these will last the summer,
good for running, skipping and jumping
on dusty roads and happy playgrounds,
Today’s adventure is a small boat,
one big enough for mama, papa, big brother and you. Adults talk a lot about escape.
Bombs are killing friends and neighbors.
But for you, climbing into the little boat today
is an adventure filled with excitement.
When did this voyage so full of promise
turn into fear,
and then into foreboding, then into last moments,
final glances?
Your sneakers dangle and swing
from your lifeless little legs as a soldier
you never knew hoists you up from the sandy beach where Mediterranean waves had taken you.
Aylan, who laced up your sneakers this morning?
- Joseph Kilikevice OP