‘I am the Bread of Life’ mural adds to Houston’s street art (VIDEO)

June 13, 2023

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, third from right, dedicated the new “I am the Bread of Life” mural at the Archdiocesan Chancery in downtown Houston on May 31. The mural featured work by local Catholic high school students and was executed by local Houston artist and Catholic school graduate GONZO247. (Photo by James Ramos/Herald)

HOUSTON — A colorful mural with swirls of red pouring from Christ on the cross into a chalice for all to partake is the latest to join Houston’s vibrant street art scene.

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo blessed the painting on May 31, located at the downtown intersection of Fannin and Jefferson, across from the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. He described the creation as a collaboration with area Catholic high school students and renowned street artist GONZO247, himself a former Catholic school student.

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“This is a beautiful synthesis of our students’ work as well as GONZO, who himself was a student at Blessed Sacrament under the tutelage of Sister Annunciata (Grogan),” Cardinal DiNardo told the crowd of downtown Chancery employees, clergy and project supporters.

“How awesome it is to see the Church being a part of bringing art to the streets of Houston that people may see and give them hope,” said GONZO247.

As part of commemorating the end of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston’s 175th anniversary, the students were asked to create a design of “What does being Catholic mean to you?”

A mural committee reviewed the submissions and decided which components to include in the final painting. Three panels, reminiscent of stained glass, highlight three scenes. The first panel shows Jesus being crucified as a Roman soldier plunges a spear into his side, releasing swirling ribbons of blood and water that flow into a chalice.

The middle panel highlights the consecration of the Eucharist with a priest raising the bread up to the heavens as beams of light stream from it. The third panel completes the communion with five men and women in biblical robes giving reverence. They are all faceless, so “everyone can see themselves,” the artists explained. Underneath the three panels, “I am the Bread of Life” is written, a line from the Gospel of St. John 6:35.

One of the eight student artists, Elizabeth Abib of Frassati Catholic High School, said, “I was inspired by the Eucharistic Revival,” a call led by Pope Francis to increase Catholics’ awareness of the true meaning of the “real presence” of Christ consumed in Communion. She also helps as an altar server at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in The Woodlands.