Al-Wahadneh Priest convent rehabilitation project (Jordan) (2010)
Khirbet Mar Elias or also known as (Khirbet al Wahadneh) is a village located in the northern governorate of Ajloun (North of Jordan). Overlooking the windswept olive groves of Ajloun are the remnants of the humble beginnings of a man revered in the three Abrahamic faiths – Elijah. and up the winding roads leading from the village of Wahadneh lies Tel Mar Elias, one of the largest Byzantine churches in Jordan and an ancient site of pilgrimage, worship and interfaith coexistence.
Inscriptions on the Byzantine church and its mosaics led many to believe that the structure was built in honour of Elias (Elijah), lending its name to the area. Further findings produced strong evidence that the hillside ruins mark the birthplace of Elijah, a revered figure in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The site has since been identified as the ancient town of Listib, associated with the Biblical town of Tishbe, which according to Christian and Jewish traditions is the hometown of Elijah.Listib was first inhabited in the Roman and Byzantine periods, according to surface architectural and pottery evidence at the site. Tel Mar Elias is situated a few kilometres away from the Zarqa River, as is the location of Tishbe described in the Bible, and the site offers staggering views of Ajloun, some 900 metres above sea level.According to the Abrahamic traditions, Elijah was a champion of monotheism, spoke out against the worship of the idol Baal and called on people not to forsake belief in God. The birthplace of Elijah, who is also revered as a prophet in Islam, has attracted worshippers of all faiths for hundreds of years. Tel Mar Elias also includes a Mamluk-era mosque at the southeastern base of the hill alongside the remains of another, earlier Byzantine church.
Scope of work
The Latin convent of Al-Wahadneh is the first construction that had been built by the Latin Patriarchate since 1948. This convent has been restored several times before, and at the present time, it needs more attention since it seems being neglected for many years.
The rehabilitation plan of the parish priest residence lies in providing more space and privacy, (since many neighbours has built second floor nearby. Additionally, the residence is used as multi-purpose place, where it is used as a place for teaching catechism lessons for some of the governmental students.
To sum up, the residence is used as a place for gathering the parishioners after the masses and the parish events. The desired project is to rehabilitate the convent, and the proposed solution is to build extra floor at the top of the actual residence, where the old convent will serve as a meetings and catechism youth center.
1) The residing parish priest / direct beneficiary
2) The living Parochial vicar / direct beneficiary
3) The visiting priests, guests, volunteers / Indirect beneficiaries
Entrance and First Mass of Fr. Farah Bader in Al-Wahadneh