Back in 2014, I wrote about some sacred art I found while wandering the chancery of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. I was working in the Development Office at the time, and had no idea that just a few years later, I'd get the chance to work with the well-loved and incredibly gifted artist who'd painted those pieces: Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS.
Fast forward to 2018. I was now working for the Diocese of Camden as their Events Coordinator. My colleague, Rod, had volunteered our diocese as the host of a national (that grew to be international) conference aimed at professionally developing Church personnel to identify, respond to, and account for the protection of the children and at-risk people in its care. It was a massive undertaking and one of the first orders of business was to come up with branding to promote the annual conference.
Rod, being the brilliant man that he is, tapped local artist Brother Mickey who lived in-residence less than 50 feet from our office building.
Since Rod and I were running point on the conference, we met with Brother Mickey to discuss the conference, its intention, our hopes for a Marian logo, and possible design concepts. It was all I could do not to completely fan girl out, guys. It became a running joke between Rod and I anytime we'd have to schedule a meeting with Brother Mickey. Ha ha.
Anyway, Brother Mickey took everything in, digested it, and used it to create the collaboration I'm most proud of in my time with the diocese... this gorgeous image of Our Lady:
Just take a moment to breathe this in. I swear... each time I look at it, I walk away with something else to love.
The theme of our conference was "Full of Grace." Mary is holding the Christ Child who, in turn, is blessing the young boy/girl to either side. The Holy Spirit is present, but you'd blink and miss Him if you weren't looking. The little boy holds a candle of wisdom and truth while the little girl holds a flower denoting innocence and purity. The rays behind Our Lady are so full of color and vibrance! Everything is so symmetrical and flows together brilliantly. I just... I love this so much. As such, I plastered it onto everything from letterhead and notebooks to travel mugs and reusable bags. I've still got stickers leftover that I use to adorn my personal books and diaries.
*Swoon* It's beautiful, isn't it?
Rod, because he's amazing, had Brother Mickey sign the original which he then mounted and framed for me. I am not exaggerating when I say it is one of my most treasured possessions. And the fact that Brother Mickey actually knows my name and waves "Hi" at me when we cross paths... it blows my mind. It felt like such a gift getting to work with someone so talented.
God is good. In all things, God is so, so good.