New mural tells history of Dayton parish
July 31, 2012
DAYTON — Artists and volunteers helped transform an empty building wall into a canvas that captures memories and the history of Precious Blood Church in Dayton earlier this summer.
The idea for the huge mural, which is 100 feet long and three stories high, was conceived by Precious Blood Father William O’Donnell, pastor. “Precious Blood Church is an active Catholic faith community with a missionary heart. Our church building is surrounded by a deteriorating neighborhood. We have always been looking for ways to brighten up our property in service to the local community,” Father O’Donnell said. “The mural is colorful, bigger than life and a testimony to our wonderful parishioners, past and present. We are committed to a vital and faith-filled future and are here to stay.”
The painting was designed by Marianist Brother Joseph Barrish of the University of Dayton, who used a base of blue waterways and a beige background to highlight milestones from the history of Precious Blood Parish, including its first Mass held on June 20, 1948, in the basement of the Convent of Our Lady of the Precious Blood.
Parishioner Marilyn Hart coordinated the four-year long project for Precious Blood and sought out one of Dayton’s best muralists to lead the project, artist Leonard Williams. Williams was assisted by Keith Thue and professional artists Regina Whipp and Connie Crosby. Forty artist-volunteers contributed their time and talents over the four-year duration of the project.
All of the artists and volunteers were recognized during a special dedication and outdoor blessing of the mural, held at Precious Blood Parish on June 10.