Skip to main content


Healing Communities through Art

By Angelic Edwards-Rojas ’23

As part of the University of Dayton’s 2023 Marian Forum, artist and Marianist Award honoree Brother Mickey McGrath, O.S.F.S., reflected with moderator and art professor Darden Bradshaw Feb. 28 on the role of art in the healing of communities.

More than 200 people attended the event, called “A Conversation with Brother Mickey McGrath,” which followed the Marian Forum’s 2023 theme of physical and spiritual healing through ritual and belief. During the conversation, McGrath shared his thoughts on his painting “Our Lady of Light: Help of the Addicted.”

The painting tells an important story especially to those who have struggled with addiction, McGrath said. It depicts Mary holding a cracked cocktail glass with flowers in it. The painting reads, “Assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.”

According to McGrath’s narrative of the work on the Trinity Stores website, “Mary holds a broken cocktail glass in her hands to remind us that our most life-changing lessons come from our deepest pains and trials. Three flowers grow from the soil in the glass, each with a symbolic purpose: The lotus is an ancient symbol of enlightenment and beauty; the gold rose reminds us of the glorious mysteries of the rosary, which are all about life transformed; and the lily stands for the hope of Easter and its promise of starting over again each and every day. Because the lily is shaped like a cup, it is seen as a vessel ‘filled with grace.’”

This and other works by McGrath, including several Madonnas of color, are on display in Roesch Library as part of the Marian Library exhibit Rituals of Healing: Body, Mind, Spirit, which runs through April 20.

The event with McGrath was the second program of the 2023 Marian Forum. The first featured University of Dayton English faculty member Liz Hutter, who presented her research on therapeutic and spiritual healing in Lourdes. The presentation, a product of Hutter’s 2022 Marian Library Resident Scholar Fellowship, accompanied the Rituals of Healing exhibit, curated in part by students in Hutter’s first-year writing seminar. 

Angelic Edwards-Rojas ’23 is a philosophy major and a student employee in the Marian Library.

Previous Post

Follow Christ With Mary to Conversion and Reconciliation

This Lenten meditation is the fifth of five excerpts from a series of meditations by Sr. M. Jean Frisk, I.S.S.M.

Read More
Next Post

A Spoonful of Mary

A Marian Library staff member sheds light on a centuries-old devotional practice of swallowing small printed religious images known as “Schluckbildchen.”

Read More