JABAL AMMAN, Jordan – As part of the pastoral work of Jabal Amman Parish, Fr. Mario Cornioli organized a 4-day Iconography course to introduce parishioners and Iraqi refugees to painting icons and the theology behind them.
The Iconography course, which was held at Jabal Amman Parish, aimed “to give Iraqi refugees and parishioners the opportunity to use their time productively,” said Fr. Mario, who invited Ian Knowles, director of Bethlehem Icon Centre (BIC), to come from Bethlehem and teach the participants to paint the Face of Jesus.
“The course was so interesting, said Fr. Mario, and it was not only an opportunity to write icons, but also to meditate while painting the Face of Jesus.” The Face of Jesus was chosen as the model for the course as it represented, as Ian puts it, “the basis of all human faces which are seen in the image and likeness of God.”
The group comprised 10 people; 7 parishioners, two Iraqi refugees and Fr. Mario, who all became so enthusiastic about their newly found interest that they intend to keep learning this sacred art. “Although it was much more difficult than they imagined, said Ian, nevertheless they were pleased by the quality of their work.”
Fr. Mario hopes that such courses will “bring parishioners and refugees closer together and foster understanding, introducing something deeper spiritually to the parish and the care of refugees.”