When times are tough (we're talking to you, 2020) it's important to step back, take stock and give thanks. This year, we have so much to be grateful for — particularly our meaningful connections and strong community of "Many Faiths, One Heart, Common Action."

We thank you and wish you all a happy, harmonious and healthy 2021!
Remembering Bert Paradis
One of the original founders of the Cathedral Heritage Foundation, Joseph Albert "Bert" Paradis Jr., died in his home on Dec. 21, 2020 in Naples, Fla. 

“We will forever be grateful for his work revitalizing the entire Cathedral complex and starting us on the path to our interfaith work, which we continue all these many years later," says CIR Board Chairman Turney Berry.
 
According to the obituary, a memorial mass will be arranged at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville at a later date. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made by contribution to the Cathedral of the Assumption, Collier Harvest or the donor's preferred charity.

We are grateful for Bert's life and legacy.
We Value Your Support!
As you contemplate year-end donations during this season of giving, please consider supporting our mission to celebrate diverse faith traditions, express gratitude for our unity, and strengthen the role of faith in society through common action.

We are grateful to all who have joined us on this meaningful journey over the past 25 years — a journey made possible by generous donors!
Blood supplies are dangerously low due to the pandemic, so please consider donating through CIR's nationwide #SleevesUp campaign, now through Jan. 31. You can participate in the campaign no matter where you live — simply click here, then make (and keep) an appointment to give blood at an American Red Cross site near you.

As an additional service to donors, the Red Cross will test all blood, plasma and platelet donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Click here to learn more.
Kwanzaa is an African-American and pan-African holiday that celebrates family, community and culture. This seven-day festival begins Dec. 26 and ends Jan. 1. The word "kwanza" is a KiSwahili (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) word meaning "first."

The seven principles of Kwanzaa are represented by candles, similar to the Jewish Hannukah menorah. Kwanzaa's principles are: unity, faith, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose and creativity.
"Save us then from our obsessions! Open our eyes, dissipate our confusions, teach us to understand ourselves and our adversary. Let us never forget that sins against the law of love are punishable by loss of faith, and those without faith stop at no crime to achieve their ends!"
Click here to read all of Thomas Merton's "Prayer for Peace," the latest in our Reflect Series. This prayer previously appeared in the catalogue for our 2016 Festival of Faiths, "Sacred Wisdom: Pathways to Nonviolence."
Thomas Merton
What it means to be grateful
Every Monday, we share a bit of Thomas Merton's wisdom to get the week started. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to be among the first to see #MertonMonday. You can find past installments on the CIR blog.
Wisdom Wednesday
Thomas Merton and the Feminine Divine
In this #WisdomWednesday, author and theologian Dr. Christopher Pramuk discusses Thomas Merton and the Feminine Divine, paying special attention to the name of Hagia Sophia. He introduces his 2018 Festival of Faiths talk by saying, “If the dominant face of the Bible comes to us in traditionally masculine imagery, wisdom or ‘Sophia’ is the Bible’s more hidden counter-testimony to the hidden face of God.”

Click here to watch the Wisdom Wednesday clip, or check out the full segment on our YouTube channel.
Common Action
Eviction Moratorium Petition: Sign and Share
On Dec. 31, thousands of our neighbors will be at risk of eviction when the federal CDC eviction moratorium ends. This is a critical matter of public health, and no one should be evicted during a pandemic. Our latest #CommonAction is to join the Coalition for the Homeless in asking Mayor Greg Fischer to establish a local eviction moratorium. With a simple click, you can help push for an eviction moratorium.
Young Authors Sacred Essay Contest
Submissions accepted beginning Jan. 4!
The Center for Interfaith Relations is soliciting essays from emerging young authors (ages 13-18) reflecting on the changes to the world in the past year. Essays should explore themes such as connection, contemplation and common action (working together for the greater good).

Click here for more details about the contest. Beginning Jan. 4, submissions will be accepted online via this link. Essays can be submitted through Feb. 8.
Inspiration
(In 280 Characters or Less)
Sometimes wise words appear in the most unexpected places — like Twitter. Check out this week's enlightening tweet...
Special Thanks To Our Institutional Partners
3 Ways to Engage with the Center