News & Events


Basilian Spirituality Center Holds Icon Workshops

June 1, 2015
Posted in: Archives, Basilian Spirituality Center, Workshop

Icon Workshop Participants

Father Abbott Damien Higgins, Abbott of Holy Transfiguration Monastery (“Monks of Mount Tabor”) in Redwood, CA, served as the guest master iconographer for two icon writing workshops sponsored by the Basilian Spirituality Center , Fox Chase Manor, PA, May 19 – 24 and May 26 – 31, 2015.

During the introductory session, participants were told that an icon writer prepares for the task by prayer and by the way one’s life is lived. As Father Basil Pennington, the renowned Catholic theologian, once said, “One cannot paint an icon by technique alone.” There is a spiritual side to the preparation.

In the sessions that followed, the attendants quietly followed the steps-tracing, etching, gold-leafing, mixing and applying pigments– in producing an egg tempera icon portraying the sacred subject of their choice. Several of the students were participating for the first time, while others were repeat attendants. “Icon writing is spiritually and artistically enlightening for me,” said Mary Quinn. “This is my tenth workshop with Father Damien and I use the icon and what I’ve learned here, in my role as an instructor of those preparing to accept the Faith.”

Sister Bodhanna Hutnyk, OSBM

Lorraine Martin, also a tenth-year participant, finds that as a member of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, she “experiences a new maturity and appreciation of my Faith through icon painting. Although I don’t fully understand the mystery of the icon, faith will lead me to the knowledge of what I am prayerfully reflecting upon when I am in the process of icon writing.” First-timer Lola Dubenko had long desired to participate in an icon workshop and finally, after study and exploration of the subject, signed on to write an inspiring icon of her own.

Future workshops, including the painting of acrylic icons, are to be scheduled at this religious center. Due to the popularity of this workshop, it’s likely that there will be many more of these in the future. With all of the events coming up in the near future, this center is considering using the services offered by to ensure people can easily register their interest in these events and workshops, ensuring people can get a spot and don’t have to miss any events. For now, those services aren’t on the website, so people must book onto these workshops as normal. For these and other events please check:

The Basilian Spirituality Center is administered by the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great and is directed by Sister Charlene M. Diorka, SSJ, assisted by Sister Johanna Gedaka, SSJ, Ph.D.