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As St. Francis De Sales used to say, “We pray best before beauty.” Which is why I love art so much. After making art, my favorite thing to do is to talk about art- especially as it relates to faith and spirituality. I love to share the healing power of art and the hope it brings to weary souls through retreats and presentations in a variety of formats to a wide range of people throughout the country. No matter the theme of my talks, they all are designed to help you discover joy within your heart.
In addition to the topics listed below, I can also do presentations on Salesian Spirituality, Therese of Lisieux, Green Saints and Mystics (on environmental justice), Jewish- Catholic relations, and Popes John XXIII, Francis, and Vatican II, Kateri Tekakwitha, and the Saints of New York.
Saved by Beauty
Dorothy Day believed, as I do, that the world will be saved by beauty. It brings hope and the promise of social justice. Explore her spirituality and her revolutionary impact on the modern church- alongside St. Francis de Sales- in this presentation based on Bro. Mickey’s book, Saved By Beauty, which won two first place Catholic publishing awards in 2013.
Go to Joseph
Through paintings and stories, celebrate this great saint who was also a husband, father, working man, immigrant, and social justice advocate. This presentation is based on the book, Go To Joseph. Perfect for the season of Advent and Christmas.
Wise & Holy Women
An insightful look at creative women wisdom figures throughout generations of church history. Participants explore the lives of saintly women from scripture until today whose joyful determination can still inspire us.
At the Name of Jesus
This time of rest and retreat is a joyous celebration of the holy names and titles of Jesus, both ancient and new. Participants are guided to recognize the abiding presence of God’s love in their own hearts and the hearts of others. This presentation based on the book, At the Name of Jesus: The Way, the Truth, the Life.
Blessed Art Thou
Explores traditional names and titles of Mary, some of which have been in our church from the earliest days. Bro. Mickey honors traditions but helps us to re-vision them with 21st century eyes. This presentation is based on the book, Blessed Art Thou: Mother Lady, Mystic, Queen.
Note to organizers: As an added option, your parish musicians may be invited to lead participants in music honoring Mary.
Journey with the Saints of Advent|Lent|Easter
Each liturgical season offers a perfect opportunity for much-needed rest and renewal—if only for a few hours! During this mini-retreat, participants encounter saints whose feast days fall within the season. Advent includes: Mary, Elizabeth, Joseph, and John the Baptist. Lent includes: John the Baptist, Mary and Martha, and the Woman at the Well. Easter includes, Mary Magdalene, Peter, and Thomas
Brigid’s Lake of Beer: Exploring Celtic Spirituality
Irish or not, who wouldn’t fall in love with St. Brigid of Kildare who envisioned heaven as a great lake of beer? With the great saints of Ireland and their beautiful homeland as a backdrop, Bro. Mickey shares his paintings and the stories behind them to highlight the basics of Irish Celtic Spirituality.
Note to organizers: This retreat has often been enhanced by the addition of Irish musicians and an Irish buffet and bar!
This Little Light: An Art & Music Celebration of Sr. Thea Bowman
Sr. Thea Bowman who, although she died in 1990 at age 53, is one of the most life-giving figures in the modern church. This African-American Franciscan nun who grew up in the Jim Crow south reveals how to transform sorrow into joy and despair into hope. This presentation is based on the book, This Little Light: Lessons in Living From Sr. Thea Bowman.
Note to organizers: This presentation usually involves the performance of nine spirituals- the music provided by your own musicians and choirs. Details will be shared in advance.
The Art of Meditation
Anyone can use crayons or paint to enhance personal prayers and devotions! Through basic drawing techniques and an introduction to mandalas, participants learn new ways to relax, center on the Holy Spirit, and draw out the peace within.