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The IconographerMary K

As a child, Mary Katsilometes experienced the presence of the Divine in the order of nature, the ritual of faith, the attraction toward beauty. She grew up on a sheep ranch in South East Idaho and lived immersed in the seasons, the push and pull of life and death. The ranch was the business of her Greek immigrant father and his two brothers. The family had come from the region of Sparta, Greece in 1906. Along with her grandmother Anastasia, Mary's grandfather also brought his Greek Orthodox faith to a new and sometimes harsh land.

As many second generation Greeks would do, her father married a non-Greek woman. She was Danish and Catholic, a young nurse who was determined that her children would be raised in the Catholic tradition. As a consequence, Mary grew with a strong grounding in the Catholic faith through the work of the Sisters of St. Benedict.

The love for God as a child came to her through her senses. It grew in the fertile soil of mystery and mysticism, filled with horses, herders, hay, candle light, Latin High Masses, incense, Greek cantors chanting the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom...and Icons.

Mary began writing icons in 1992 under the direction of Charles Rorbacher.  In both 1993 and 1998 she completed advanced studies in France under Egon Sendler, SJ in Meudon and Publier (Chalet Darbon).  She has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Russia in her study of the Icon and has conducted numerous retreats, workshops, and presentations.  Among the icons she has written are those for the University of Portland, St. Mary’s Academy (Portland, Oregon), The Catholic Worker House (Portland, Oregon), Our Lady of Guadalupe Cistercian Monastery (Lafayette, Oregon), Queen of Angels Monastery (Mt. Angel, Oregon), and the Jesuit Native American Mission of St. Paul (La Conner, Washington).  Her work was also included in the CIVA National Traveling Exhibit in 2000-2002. 

Currently, Mary is engaged in a multi-year project at Resurrection Catholic Church (Tualatin, Oregon).  She has completed the first icon of a series, a triptych of the Crucifixion, and is working on the second icon, the Anastasis of the Lord.  Mary also teaches all levels of students at the Iconographic Arts Institute at Queen of Angels Monastery in Mt. Angel, Oregon.

Mary established the Anastasis Studio as an outward expression of an ongoing spiritual process. As she expresses it, "The iconographer is called to this work as one is called to a vocation. It is a work of ministry and service to the people of God."

Education and Experience:

~ Honors Graduate in Fine Arts Painting and Sculpture
~ Iconography Institute of Mt. Angel Abbey with Charles Rhorbacher
~ Centre D' Etude Russe, Paris, France with Father Egon Sendler, SJ
~ Chalet Darbon, Evian, France with Father Sendler in fresco iconography
~ Instructor, Iconographic Arts Institute
~ Distinguished Lecturer and Presenter on Icons and Iconography