Sisters of Charity (also known as the Grey Nuns) participate in the unveiling of “The Humble Seamstress,” a mural at Edmonton’s St. Alphonse Academy honouring Sr. Marie Alphonse, the province’s first educator. Photo by Lincoln Ho

A colourful salute to a Grey Nun

By 
  • October 12, 2019

EDMONTON -- The black cover dropped and unveiled the mural. Ingrained in its tiles is the 160-year legacy of Catholic education in Alberta, and the Grey Nun who set it all in motion.

The mural honouring Sr. Marie Alphonse — the province’s first educator — features 1,400 tiles with images of textbooks, rulers and rosary beads. Six hundred of the tiles were painted by professional artists, students and staff at Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools, as well as by community members.

Entitled “The Humble Seamstress,” the mural at St. Alphonse Academy is a nod to Sr. Alphonse, who learned Cree so she could communicate with Indigenous people, as well as to her skill at making clothes. 

“Sr. Alphonse would be so happy if she could see this,” said Sr. Jeanine Coulombe, local leader of the Grey Nuns, at the Sept. 19 mural unveiling.

(Grandin Media)

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