Brother Mickey O’Neill McGrath, Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, is an artist, writer, and speaker who loves to explore the relationship between art and faith. His work and ministry have been featured in St. Anthony Messenger, USA TODAY, and many Catholic newspaper articles around the country. Several of his covers for America Magazine have been given awards by the Catholic Press Association. He creates art for many of today’s leading Catholic publishers including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, for whom he has designed posters for Catechetical Sunday, Home Missions Appeal, and National Migration Week.
He began drawing at the age of 4, underneath his mother's ironing board at their Philadelphia home. Now Brother Mickey McGrath spends up to eight hours a day drawing and painting, creating works of art for chapels, books, posters and pamphlets. As a child, he drew cartoons at recess, and now, inspired by icons, Gothic and Romanesque art, he paints images of Jesus, Mary and the saints, often in contemporary situations.
Presently he has his studio in South Camden, NJ within the parish of The Sacred Heart. He resides with his Oblate Community of three priests at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Rectory in the center of the city of Camden. He notes that his order's patron saint, St. Francis de Sales, said, "Be who you are, and be that perfectly well."
Mickey’s published books include a collaboration with Kathy Coffey entitled Women Of Mercy. Blessed Art Thou, a collection of paintings and essays about Mary with prayers by Fr. Richard Fragomeni and a companion book, At The Name Of Jesus, soon followed. He has also illustrated and written a three-volume series on patron saints entitled Patrons and Protectors and an art and meditation book, Journey With Therese Of Lisieux. This Little Light gives insight into the life Sr. Thea Bowman, Mickey’s hero. Jesus A to Z and Mysteries Of The Rosary are catechetical children’s books celebrating art, symbol and faith.
In addition to creating artwork, Mickey is a presenter at retreats, schools, and conferences nation-wide. Since 1987 he has been a teacher and director at the Grunewald Guild, an ecumenical art community in Leavenworth, Washington. He has been a speaker at various conferences and retreats for Catholic educators in New England, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Joliet, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Portland, Maine, and Washington, DC.
Whatever the titles of his presentations and whatever type of audience, Mickey’s message is always about the healing power of art and its ability to lead us to light and grace.