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
Link to ncr article below
Tell Me Little Girl

Tell me little girl, are you hungry, are you tired?
Was your trip to our border a long one?
I like your new red shoes and red sweater.
When your mother dressed you this morning
did she promise you that your new home would be
better than the one you were leaving?
The truck you are standing next to seems so big and scary.
The strange man who is talking to your mother is big too.
Little girl, Is red your favorite color?
Did you giggle with delight when you first wore
your new sweater and shoes?
Tell me little girl,
can I hold you for a while and tell you a story?
It’s about magic red shoes and a magic red sweater that
brings children who wear them to a magic place
that is always a happy place.
Little girl, God loves you and wants to wipe your tears away.
He sent me to do this for Him.

Mr. President,
I don’t believe you when you say you feel bad
about taking children from their parents
and putting them in internment camps.
You call asylum seekers “an infestation.”
What feeling prompts you to use that word?
I don’t believe you have any feelings at all, Mr. President.
I’m told that forgiveness means
letting go of the right to feel hurt.
Forgiveness will have to wait for now.
I can’t do that just yet.
I’m going to hold on to feeling hurt and angry.
Little girl in a red sweater and new red shoes,
we created this poem together.
It comes from your hurt and my hurt.
- Joseph Kilikevice
I consider this event an art happening and invite my Dominican Family to join me in person or in spirit in preaching a message of radical inclusiveness of all children of the world; truly “the least among us.” Every adult in the world is responsible for every child in the world; responsible for their safety and their thriving. Included in the program will be a flute solo performance of Gabriel Faure’s “Pie Jesu” in memory of the 85,000 children under the age of 5 who died of starvation in Yemen.

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. 
Joseph Kilikevice OP