Melkite Church, Israel.

Regan O'Callaghan Ibilin, Israel, Elias Chacour, Sermon on the Mount church

British Association of IconographersVoluntary project for the Melkite Church of the Sermon on the Mount‚ Ibillin, Israel.

In 2004/5 a dozen people from the British Association of Iconographers under the direction of Sister Bernadette Crook worked on an Iconostasis for a newly built Church in Ibillin, Israel.  The Iconostasis contains over 40 icons of various sizes. The BAI was approached by Elias Chacour a Palestinian Melkite Priest who has lived and worked in Ibillin for many years and is now the ArchBishop of Galilee.

Elias is the author of Blood Brothers - an account of his life.  From an early age Elias had a strong call to serve the Church and after years of study was ordained becoming the first Palestinian to earn a degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Elijah detail 1

Today Elias ministry is one of reconciliation and peace between Christians, Muslims, Druze and Jews.  The newly built Church in Ibillin is a Chapel of Peace with the Iconostasis reflecting the positive relationships between people of different faiths and cultures.

For example the icon of Elijah (written by Sister Bernadette) which traditionally shows a raven sent by God bringing sustenance to Elijah in the desert instead shows Bedouin bringing food. This is based on a translation of scripture which suggests the word raven has been mis-translated and should read Arab.

I worked mainly on the icon of Saint Andrew and Saint Peter and was privileged to be in attendance for the dedication of the Church and Iconostasis in 2005. 

I heard the trees sing and the stars laugh.

Regan O'Callaghan Peru, Refugio Altiplano, sunset, amazon, tree house

tree house, refugio altiplano, amazon, peru,I spent time in the Amazon while traveling through Peru last year. One night my sister and I stayed in a tree house way up in the canopy. Amazing!!! When the sun went down the jungle became alive.  Strange noises filled the night and it was so so dark. When I blew my candle out I couldn't see a thing. While getting ready to go to sleep above me in the roof of the tree house something stirred. It climbed down and started scurrying around under my bed. Slightly freaked out I turned on my torch to see what it was. A rather large rat looking thing trundled past me. At this stage I thought I won't tell Lian we are sharing someone else's home. In the morning Lian said "something has been eating my soap" - large bite and claw marks clearly evident.

The place we were staying was Refugio Altiplano. Well worth a visit. I had some amazing experiences there.

Regan O'Callaghan Peru - Lian & Regan August 2009 tree house, amazon, peru, Refugio altiplanoRegan O'Callaghan Peru - Lian & Regan August 2009 109 tree house, amazon peru,

Check out their website 

I heard the trees sing and the stars laugh, pen on paper, Refugio altiplano, amazon peru

I heard the trees sing and the stars laughPen and ink on paper 2010