Help a Food Pantry Out - Be a secret Angel for CAIN


Churches Active in Northside (CAIN)-

YOU can be a CAIN "Secret Angel" and make a brighter Christmas season for those most in need.  

You will light up a child's life when she reads her new book, bring a smile to teenager as he uses his new bath and body items, and encourage a family gathered around a table enjoying a wonderful meal!

CAIN: 4230 Hamilton Ave.
Mondays @ 6-8 p.m.Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 10 a.m.-1 p.m.Saturday, Dec. 1st @ 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
CAIN table at Northside Farmers Market
North Church, 4222 Hamilton Ave.
Wednesdays 4 to 7pm

AJC Calls on Cincinnati Community to #ShowUpForShabbat

AJC Calls on Cincinnati Community to #ShowUpForShabbat 

AJC Cincinnati Logo.jpg

November 1, 2018 – New York – AJC is urging the Cincinnati Jewish community, as well as civic and religious leaders, to flock to synagogues on Friday night and Saturday morning, November 2-3. The #ShowUpForShabbat initiative was launched by AJC after the horrific attack at Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, which left 11 Jewish worshipers dead and another six people wounded.

“We must speak out and stand up against those who target Jews. Coming to synagogue this Shabbat will send a clear, strong message that Jews are not afraid,” said Cathy Heldman, AJC Cincinnati regional director. “We know today that Jews are not alone. In our country, in our city, elected officials as well as other religious and ethnic communities recognize that an attack on any faith is clearly an attack on all faiths.”

The AJC Cincinnati initiative is part of a worldwide effort by the American Jewish Committee, a leading global advocacy organization, to fill synagogues in a demonstration of solidarity and unity against anti-Semitism and hate. Representatives from AJC’s 22 offices across the United States are reaching out to clergy, diplomats, local government officials, and other community leaders to encourage them to participate in the #ShowUpForShabbat campaign, while the organization’s 11 international offices are working with partners in over 35 Jewish communities around the globe to launch similar initiatives locally.

From New York to New Zealand and from Utah to the UK, thousands of Jews and people of all faiths are pledging to #ShowUpForShabbat this weekend in solidarity with Pittsburgh’s Jewish community and sending a resounding message that love triumphs over hate.

Other local, national, and international Jewish organizations are being asked to encourage their members to participate in the campaign. Synagogues are being called upon to welcome the anticipated influx of attendees at their Shabbat services with explanatory programming, and rabbis are being asked to dedicate their sermons to discussing the initiative. 

Social media users are being encouraged to tweet and post about their plans to attend Shabbat services this weekend using the hashtag #ShowUpForShabbat.

For more information, contact the AJC Cincinnati office at

Mary in the Abrahamic Religions


The WINC’s, or Women’s Interfaith Network of Northern Cincinnati Suburbs group, hosted “Mary in the Abrahamic Faiths” on October 8th. This talented and friendship seeking group of women have been meeting for several years sharing their faith stories, religious practices, visiting each others places of worship, participating in prayer services, celebrating cultural events and working together for those in need. As they are able to share their faiths, they discovered a common woman of strength, courage and deep faith in God. Her name is Mary or Miriam from the Abrahamic Religions. The scriptures each tell a different story, but the same truths are prevalent. The stories of Mary and Miriam in each of the Hebrew, Christian, Muslim, and Baha’i sacred scriptures describe woman with a passionate heart, always putting God first in her life even when it meant she could be expelled from her own community. Some faiths describe her as a great prophet, others a beautiful creature of God, others describe her as the Mother to us all. This woman of ancient times seeks truth and justice. Her strength is unbreakable to the cultural norms or to the persecution of her people. Her heart is honest and compassionate. She knows the poor and the oppressed. She desires freedom and equality. She magnify’s God’s greatness to the world to through her words and actions. Mary and Miriam exemplify a truth, the reality of God’s grace.

Festival of Faiths Seeking Volunteers

Festival of Faiths Seeking Volunteers


You can be part of the inaugural Cincinnati Festival of Faiths as a volunteer!  

Volunteers are needed to help with all aspects of this gathering, including:

  • assisting and directing exhibitors and vendors in unloading from their vehicles and transporting materials to their tables;
  • serving as staging assistants for entertainment acts by moving equipment, etc.;
  • serving as greeter or a guide to direct participants to “conversation” rooms;
  • manning the volunteer check-in table.

When you sign up, you will be able to choose the time-shift(s) you are available to work. You will receive a t-shirt and credit for community service hours, if needed for your school or another organization. Once you sign up, you just need to check in at the volunteer table the day of the event at the beginning of your shift and you will be given your specific duties. 

Sign up here


Greater Cincinnati’s first-ever Festival of Faiths on Sunday, June 24, 2018, at Xavier University’s Cintas Center will bring together neighbors, families and spiritual leaders to celebrate the area’s religious diversity. The day will feature faith-based exhibits, dialogues, workshops, art, music and fun activities for all ages. The event is free and open to the public.

Modeled after popular long-standing festivals in Louisville and Indianapolis, Cincinnati’s festival will showcase the many faith traditions of our region. It also includes a day of community service for interfaith groupings of volunteers. Read more..

Call to Action: Protect: Protect Immigrant Children and Families

Protect immigrant children and families seeking safety and shelter from violence by keeping these families together.


Please send a message to Congress TODAY!

The following is an important action alert from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

'When we look to our southern border, where migrant families who are escaping various forms of violence and persecution in their homeland are being routinely separated. Since October 2017, over 700 children have been separated from their parents and rendered "unaccompanied," including over 100 children under the age of four. On May 4, 2018, the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) stated that it will refer all individuals who cross the border without authorization for criminal prosecution, including adult members of family units. If implemented, this policy will undoubtedly lead to a drastic increase in incidences of family separation.'


Send a message to Congress and ask that they protect immigrant children and families seeking safety and shelter from violence by keeping these families together.  You can send this message immediately here.  Or, share this message to your U.S. Senators and Representative by phone.  Locate their contact information here.

Send the following message to your U.S. Senators and Representative:

Dear Senator/Representative,
Children are vulnerable and should not be separated from their parents. The family is a foundational element of our Faith teaching and family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system.

Separating parents from their children will not deter families from seeking safety and security in the U.S. Such a policy will not cure the pervasive root causes of migration existing in the violent areas of Central America. Furthermore, a policy of separating families at the border will be extremely costly to the U.S. taxpayer, costing hundreds of dollars/night per family.

 I urge you to recognize the importance of family unity and use your oversight capabilities to:
(1) Tell DHS Not to Separate Families
(2) Prevent DHS from Receiving Funding for This Harmful and Costly Practice
(3) Propose More Humane Solutions, Such As Alternatives to Detention.

Bridges of Faith Trialogue to host Cincinnati’s first Festival of Faiths

Bridges of Faith Trialogue to host Cincinnati’s first Festival of Faiths

Greater Cincinnati’s first-ever Festival of Faiths on Sunday, June 24, 2018, at Xavier University’s Cintas Center will bring together neighbors, families and spiritual leaders to celebrate the area’s religious diversity. The day will feature faith-based exhibits, dialogues, workshops, art, music and fun activities for all ages.  The event is free and open to the public. 

Modeled after popular long-standing festivals in Louisville and Indianapolis, Cincinnati’s festival will showcase the many faith traditions of our region. It also includes a day of community service for interfaith groupings of volunteers.

Organized by the local Bridges of Faith Trialogue, the Festival’s objectives are to promote awareness of Greater Cincinnati’s religious diversity, celebrate the variety of cultural contributions to our community’s quality of life, and educate families about the world’s religions.   

The theme for this inaugural event is “Compassion through Action” in recognition of the role the faith community has historically played and continues to play in advancing a civil, socially just and welcoming community for all who live, work and visit Greater Cincinnati.  The event will also serve to unify our community, focusing on our similarities and celebrating our differences. 

Co-Chairing the Festival’s Steering Committee are the Rev. Canon Manoj Zacharia, sub-dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Sandy Kaltman, president of the local American Jewish Committee, and Maria Munir, a board member of the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati.   Heading up the Program Committee are the Brueggeman Center’s James Buchanan Ph.D., Umama Alam of the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, Sarah Weiss, director of the Holocaust and Humanity Center, and Nazly Mamedova, an attorney with Wanglaw.

“Religions worldwide contribute in many ways to the soul of a community – its values, mores, human relations and ultimately its progress. Regardless of creed, religions universally lift up compassion as a pathway to enrich spiritual and personal relationships that build a community’s vibrancy and livability for all,” said Maria Munir, Festival Co-Chair.

Contact:    Chip Harrod   Email:

More details about the event will be shared in the coming months. Or contact

Kids for Peace: Growing and Expanding Offerings


Kids4Peace Cincinnati:  Growing and Expanding Offerings

2017 was a year of significant growth for Kids4Peace Cincinnati.  The number of campers doubled from the first camp in 2016. Twenty -one campers attended camp, and several of those were members who had attended the first camp in 2016.  The second-year campers continued to build on some of the skills learned in the first year and facilitated some of the sessions for the new first- year campers.  A few of those first- year campers remarked that they really enjoyed having the other campers teaching the sessions.  At completion of the Day Camp, families and friends of the campers joined in for an interfaith pot luck dinner.  More than 60 people attended that dinner, and now the pot luck dinners are continuing throughout the year.

We also expanded the year-round sessions for the campers.  The new friends, made during the Day Camp session, were invited to get together again and attend additional programs throughout the year.  Some of the sessions included:  planting a “Peace Garden” on a beautiful spot donated from Spring Grove Cemetery.  Additionally, members attended and observed services of all three faiths.  After the services, the friends again gathered for discussion and fellowship. Always food!  The campers met with students from Adath Israel Congregation and the Avondale Center to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.

Another popular event was to attend a Xavier Women’s Basketball game and joined the team courtside for a group photo.

Kids4Peace Cincinnati is now participating in additional Cincinnati Community programs, such as presenting programs for congregations and Vacation Bible Schools and will be represented at this year’s Cincinnati Festival of Faiths on June 24.

We are extremely happy to announce that registration is now open for the 3rd. Annual Kids4Peace Cincinnati, July 30-August 3, 2018. This year’s program has expanded to include another day of fun. Several campers have already registered!  Please join that fun. Make new friends, share experiences, learn to stand together, and become a voice as a PeaceBuilder” in our local community. Also, you will have a wonderful time!

For questions go to  To register, go to programs

IJPC - Clean Dream Act Prayer Vigil


'IJPC held a press conference with two YES members that have DACA and the President of Xavier University to remind Congress of their March 5 deadline to pass a clean Dream Act. At the event, three Sisters of Charity shared their experience in Washington DC this week with civil disobedience during a Catholic Day of Action for Dreamers. Watch the livestream on Facebook, and be sure to read the press release.

Continue calling Congress to pass a clean Dream Act: 

IJPC's own José Cabrera stood next to Fr. Graham, SJ, president of Xavier University, who said, "Jose, you make Xavier University very proud because you are a young man living your life for and with others the way we urge all of our students to do." We'd have to agree!

Congress' March 5 deadline approaches on Monday. Although our efforts to pass a clean Dream Act will not stop, we invite you to gather for a prayer vigil to mark the day.

Prayer Vigil for a Clean Dream Act
Monday, March 5, at 5:00 p.m.
Outside Senator Rob Portman's Office
312 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Corner of 3rd & Walnut

Join our Facebook event page.

Now is the time to show up and speak out. We must keep pressuring Congress to act. We need a permanent solution for DACA, and that solution is a clean Dream Act.'

A Story of "Cities For Life"

A Story of Cities for Life

by Sue Prieshoff


There was a gathering of like minds at the St Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati on November 30, 2017.   The day was recognized around the world as International Day against the Death Penalty.  It originated in Italy in 1786, the first country to recognize the evil of killing people to show that killing people is wrong. 

I became aware of this date after writing a pen pal in prison here in Ohio. He was formerly on death row, but now awaits a new trial. We have been writing for over 20 years.  This inmate also had a pen pal in Italy through a pen pal international program.  Over the years, Francesco and I met through the inmates’s letters and we began emailing. Last year was the Year of Mercy in the Catholic Church.  Francesco felt the call by Pope Frances to come the the USA to meet his pen pal here in Ohio.

We wrote back and forth, and welcomed Francesco to come and stay at our house. It is always exciting to meet a pen pal who you have only written to and one from so far away.  While our guest was in town, I made contacts with like minded groups that I was involved with.  This is where Francesco made his pitch for Cincinnati to join with the “Cities for Life.”  Turns out he lived in Tuscany, where it all began with his group “the community of Sant’Egidio.”  It lit a spark.

It took a year to get it on the books and that is how we came to the event hosted at the Cathedral in Cincinnati.  Turns out, Cincinnati was one of only a few cities in the the USA to acknowledge the November date. Our Archdiocese Social Action Office and Intercommunity Justice and Peace office got the program together.  We were proud to be in good company with those of like mind around the world. One person can make a difference.  Try it!

'The Community of Sant'Egidio began in Rome following the Second Vatican Council. Today, it is a movement of lay people with more than 50,000 members dedicated to evangelisation and charity in Rome, Italy and in more than 70 countries throughout the world..The Community of Sant’Egidio seeks to communicate the Gospel and advocates solidarity with the poor, in the evangelical spirit of a Church that is the "Church for all and particularly the poor" (Pope John XXIII). The community promotes ecumenism and dialogue, recommended by Vatican II as a way of peace and co-operation among the religions, a way of life and a means of resolving conflicts.

To read more about World Coalition against the Death Penalty and Cities for Life please visit...

Save the Date! 1st Annual Cincinnati Festival of Faiths

1st Annual Greater Cincinnati FESTIVAL OF FAITHS

12-2017Bridges of Faith Newsarticle.jpg

by Chip Harrod

WHAT:    A weeklong festival in June of 2018  to showcase Greater Cincinnati’s religious diversity and vitality,  to celebrate religion’s contributions to our community’s quality of life, and  to model our exemplary interfaith relations and collaboration. 

Including:      A Day of Community Service – interfaith groupings of volunteers will spend the day together performing community service, followed by a discussion of their shared experience.  (There will be optional days and service projects.  This activity should be of special appeal to younger audiences.)

Concluding:  A Day of Celebration – a fun and educational festival, featuring music and culture, purely non-political, within a setting of many and diverse religious group exhibitors; to include opportunities for interfaith prayer/meditation and dialogue.  (A Sunday afternoon from 1:00-5:00 p.m.)

Inaugural theme:   “Compassion through Action”

WHY:     Religion and religious expression contribute to the soul of a community - its values, its norms, its institutional mores, its human relations, its compassion and, ultimately, its progress.  Cincinnati has been blessed with a rich history of religion’s contributions, especially to the advancement of a civil, socially just, and welcoming community.  As a force for good, our faith community should be celebrated and encouraged to continue its commitment to strengthen and unify our city.  Moreover, there’s value in being reminded of Cincinnati’s leading example as a community that appreciates its religious pluralism and inter-religious collaboration.  The last occasion when the entire community lifted up organized religion and our religious heritage in any major way for public recognition was the 1988 Interfaith Celebration of Cincinnati’s Bicentennial.  There has been nothing on this scale since. 

Two neighboring cities have “festivals of faith:” Louisville (23rd year) and Indianapolis (5th year).  From visits to both cities entailing meetings with their respective festival organizers, we’ve learned of these community benefits from hosting a festival:

·      Unites the community;

·      Demonstrates that religious pluralism is good for a community;

·      Builds interfaith understanding and cooperation;

·      Nurtures community through enlightened programs;

·      Stimulates common action to address community needs; and,

·      Connects people to the region’s religious congregations and faith-based organizations.

HOW TO:   Cincinnati’s Bridges of Faith Trialogue will take the administrative lead in organizing the Cincinnati Festival of Faiths.  It will provide the project management, assemble an inclusive Festival Steering Committee, handle the logistics, arrangements and promotions, adopt participation guidelines, and seek the required resources for delivering the companion events of the festival and day of service.  Volunteers will be necessary to delivering a successful event.

The Bridges of Faith Trialogue is a 501c3 nonprofit, which has this mission:  

The Bridges of Faith Trialogue is a non-partisan civic organization founded upon interfaith dialogue that works to develop educational and community service programming to foster greater understanding, respect, compassion, inclusion and engagement for all people and faith communities in Cincinnati and beyond. 

BUDGET:  The budget for a Cincinnati Festival of Faiths is roughly estimated at $27,000.  We expect to receive both in-kind and cash donations.  Group sponsorships will be available, and there will be a participation fee for exhibitors.

WHERE:   For the Day of Celebration we have chosen a spacious indoor venue, reserving the Cintas Center of Xavier University; free parking.

WHEN:   The Greater Cincinnati Festival of Faiths will be held on June 24, 2018.  

SPECIAL FEATURES AND POTENTIAL COLLATERAL ACTIVITIES:  interfaith prayer service; guest speakers; opportunity for dialogue; fun activities, e.g., Sikh turban-tying, picture-taking with a life-size cardboard cutout of Pope Francis; diverse music and entertainment; youth component.  We are contemplating a range of speakers and educational programs at diverse venues the week leading up to the June 24th Day of Celebration.

EARLY SUPPORTERS OF THIS IDEA:  Entities that have expressed interest in this preliminary concept include the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue of Xavier University, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Diocese of Southern Ohio, Christ Church Cathedral Cincinnati, K. K. Bene Israel/Rockdale Temple, American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Cincinnati Sikh community, Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)-Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, AMOS Project, Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati (MARCC), Kids4Peace, The Holocaust and Humanity Center.

Festival Steering Committee (to date):  Umama Alam, James Buchanan Ph.D., Jackie Congedo, Chip Harrod, Rabbi Meredith Kahan, Sandy Kaltman (Co-Chair), Justin Kirschner, Inayat Malik M.D., Maria Munir (Co-Chair), Jan and Bruce Seidel, Jaipal Singh, Tony Stieritz, Sarah Weiss, Rev. Canon Manoj Zacharia (Co-Chair), Rabbi Gary Zola.

Religious communities are, without question, the largest and best organized civil institutions in the world today, claiming the allegiance of billions of believers and bridging the divides of race, class and nationality.  They are uniquely equipped to meet the challenges of our time; resolving conflicts, caring for the earth, the sick and needy, and promoting peaceful coexistence among all people.” -  Religions for Peace