Images of Mary help unify a diverse community


Photo by James A. McBride

imagesofmary-webNayellis, left, and Jasmine Ortiz carry images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Lady of Divine Providence to the front of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Camden, on Tuesday evening, May. 17. Behind them are Lauren Bauer, left, and Stephanie Krivus carrying images of Our Lady of Manaoag and Our Lady of High Grace. Brother Mickey O’Neill McGrath made the paintings for the Cathedral, which were blessed by Bishop Joseph A. Galante that evening.

CAMDEN — Bishop Joseph A. Galante dedicated four images of Mary created for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception here May 17.

The paintings were created by Brother Mickey O’Neill McGrath, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales whose studio is in South Camden. They depict devotional images of Mary important to Puerto Rican, Filipino, Mexican and Dominican Catholics, and thus represent the diverse traditions of the faithful who currently worship at the cathedral.

The colorful paintings are mounted on wooden frames modeled on the cathedral’s stained glass windows, which were imported from Germany.

The frames were made by Chris Haw of Sacred Heart Parish, using wood from a pew of Holy Name Church in North Camden.

The dedication ceremony, and the images themselves, are a sign of unity for the Parish of the Immaculate Conception, which now includes the former communities of Holy Name and Our Lady of Mount Carmel/Fatima.

The images were placed at the base of the statue of the Immaculate Conception.