Parish Partnership Creates a Place to Belong

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Center director Bethany Welch and Youth Voices member Carid Maranan install mural panels in the Multicultural Community Garden.

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Just a few miles from where Democratic convention delegates met July 25-28 at the Wells Fargo Center, a South Philadelphia neighborhood echoed with the sounds of multiple languages, presenting an array of cuisines and businesses that cater to a dizzying diversity of ethnicities and cultures.

Once a landing place for Italian and Irish immigrants, the area which houses the Aquinas Center, an innovative church- and community-supported venture in welcoming and supporting immigrants, is now home to Asian, African, Latin American and others families seeking a new life in America.

Founded in 2013 as a collaboration between the people of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and various social service organizations and educational institutions, the center sits on the northeast corner of the church campus.

It is adorned with six community-created murals, the result of collaborative work that reflect the values and common vision of the groups who find a home at the center.

To read more about mural making and our desire to be a place that welcomes all, check out: http://catholicphilly.com/2016/08/news/local-news/parish-partnership-creates-culture-of-inclusion-in-phila-neighborhood/

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