Princeton parish to host saint-themed retreat with artist &lsquo Brother Mickey&rsquo
St. Paul Parish, Princeton, will host award-winning artist and author, Brother Michael &ldquo Mickey&rdquo McGrath, who will offer a retreat Feb. 23, 9 a.m. &ndash 12 p.m., on the importance of the saints.
Titled &ldquo Our BFF&rsquo s in Heaven: Saints and Soul Friends for a Church in Crisis,&rdquo Brother Mickey&rsquo s presentation will feature several of his paintings of saints and the stories behind them, from Mary and Elizabeth up to Dorothy Day, Oscar Romero and Kateri Tekakwitha. Participants will also celebrate in prayer and memory their own deceased loved ones. The day is an opportunity, &ldquo in these anxious times in our Church and nation, [to] come refresh your spirit and take a new look at our best-loved traditions,&rdquo the retreat literature states.
&ldquo Saints and prophets have appeared throughout Church history as forward-looking voices of confidence, hope, and healing,&rdquo said Brother Mickey. &ldquo These &lsquo BFF&rsquo s in Heaven&rsquo continually help us to get unstuck and trust the process of change and reform.&rdquo
Brother Mickey is a popular presenter nationwide, and author/illustrator of 20 books, including three on Pope Francis. He offers retreats and presentations throughout the U.S. and Canada. He is currently a Visiting Artist at DeSales University, Center Valley, Pa.
&ldquo In a nutshell, I paint, write and tell stories &ndash and then travel all over the place telling the stories behind what I paint and write,&rdquo Brother Mickey states on his website.
Using his own art and stories, Brother Mickey will look at some modern prophets who offer us hope and healing in these challenging days of crisis in the Church.
&ldquo The sex abuse crisis is not THE problem, it is merely a symptom of much deeper underlying problems of a Church in desperate need of healing and reform,&rdquo said Brother Mickey. &ldquo The HEAVENLY BFF&rsquo S we will explore are women and men who were creative spirits and visionaries who, each in their unique way, inspire us to become spiritually mature, let go of fear, and move forward in faith and hope.&rdquo
During the Princeton retreat, some of the modern saints and prophets whose lives will be explored are St. John XXIII and Dorothy Day Sister Thea Bowman and Rev. Martin Luther King and Nicholas Black Elk, the Lakota visionary on the path to sainthood.
&ldquo They are all creative Voices from the Margins who offer new ways of seeing and being Church,&rdquo Brother Mickey explained.
Originally hailing from Philadelphia, he began painting in high school through Saturday morning classes at the Moore College of Art. He went on to major in art at Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pa., and earned a master of fine arts degree from American University, Washington, D.C.
Brother Mickey was associate professor of studio art and art history at DeSales University for 11 years, eventually transitioning to working full time as an artist and retreat leader. Since 1987 he has taught each summer at the Grunewald Guild, an interfaith art community in Leavenworth, Wa. Brother Mickey has lived in Camden since 2009, furthering his art education &ldquo in the context of social justice and finding beauty in the margins.&rdquo He has recently created murals in Nairobi, Kenya, and at St. Joseph&rsquo s Indian School in South Dakota, with the help of enthusiastic youth. He has been a religious brother in the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales for nearly 42 years.
For more information, call 609-524-0507. St. Paul&rsquo s is located at 214 Nassau Street.