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New DePaul mural is in the works
February 20, 2024

By Healthy Trailblazer Journal reporters | The DePaul Catholic School has helped make Philadelphia the mural capital of the world.

Its mural on the front and side of the building is one of more than 4,000 around the city of Philadelphia.

Now the school is working on a new mural on the back of the building, where younger students enter, School Principal Ms. McKenzie recently told the Healthy Trailblazer Journal.

“We wanted to do something spe- cial to brighten the backside of the building,” she said.

The new mural will be a picture of a Black Jesus. It will be made of small pictures of DePaul student faces, she said.

When asked why DePaul has murals, she said “we want families and students to drive by and want to come to school and want to be part of the community.”

Ms. McKenzie said the existing mural is called St. Vincent’s Orchard and honors the history of the school, its values, and the Germantown community. For instance, the quilt represents the Underground Railroad that sheltered enslaved African Americans on their journey to freedom. Trolley 23 once came through the area. The faces represent St. Francis of Assisi, St. Martin de Porres, St. Louise de Marillac, and St. Vincent de Paul.

The St. Vincent’s Orchard mural took three summers to make. It was completed in 2012. The same artist who worked on the first mural is creating the new one. His name is Brother Mark Elder, C.M., a faculty member at DePaul University in Chicago.

>>Learn how an artist creates a mural

Brother Mark said he worked with The DePaul Catholic School community and neighbors to create the designs of both murals. His students at DePaul University and The DePaul Catholic School have helped him.

He said both the existing and future murals are meant to “inform people about what is important and celebrated in your school.”

Contributed by Healthy Trailblazer Journal 8A reporters.

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