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On September 13, 2015 we ended Mass by processing to these doors and we covered them with the image of the Divine Mercy. We paused and prayed for God’s mercy on all of us and declared the doors closed until December 13, 2015 when we will open these Holy Doors in celebration of the Holy Year of Mercy.


This is the first time in the history of the Basilica that we have been granted the privilege of a Holy Door. At least since the mid-15th C. a specific door in the major Basilicas in Rome was designated as a Holy Door which is only opened during a Holy Year. In order to avail the experience to the entire church Pope Francis has extended this privilege to all Cathedral churches. 


The custom of Holy Doors grew out of our human and spiritual experience of doors. When closed, they symbolize our sinful human condition epitomized by the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. When opened, they symbolize how Jesus opened the gates to Paradise for us by virtue for his life, death and resurrection. In His own words: “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)


As we await the opening of these Holy Doors on December 13 we pray:
Loving and eternal God,
whose mercies are without number
and whose goodness is infinite;
when we were lost and the doors of heaven were closed to us,
you sent into the world your Son, Jesus Christ,
the fountain of mercy and the portal to paradise.

Each time we pass this place and contemplate your kindness,
may we be drawn ever more deeply into the mystery of your mercy,
and the wonders of your love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Yesterday, The Basilica of Saint Mary staff celebrated 30 years of dedication from our parish secretary, Nola. Nola has been the face of The Basilica for a number of those 30 years, working at our reception desk, documenting hundreds - if not thousands - baptisms, weddings, and funerals in our parish records, and serving all those who pass through our doors. We are incredibly grateful for her unwavering commitment to the staff and community of The Basilica and wish her well in her upcoming retirement. Thanks, Nola!

Global Fair Trade Market

If you still have holiday shopping to do (or start!), consider joining us for the annual Global Fair Trade Market at the Basilica. The market is open on December 6 from 8:30am to 6:30pm on The Basilica's Lower Level. Below is a list of vendors who will be joining us for this great event. We hope to see you there!

  • Divas Fair Trade Fashion Accessories: selling colorful scarves, unique jewelry, handmade headbands, shoulder bags and more. Learn more here.
  • Regla De Oro Gallery:  offering handmade jewelry, vases, metal wall art, and hand painted metal work. View samples here.
  • Trade Winds: offers unique women's clothing and jewelry
  • Reflections of Asia:  feature fair trade products from South East Asia such as handmade scarves and hand bags, handmade bamboo ware and table ware from Indonesia. View beautiful samples here.
  • Tiny Tim and Friends:  provides medical, nutritional and psycho-social to vulnerable HIV+ children, adolescents and pregnant women in Zambia.  Learn more here.
  • Gary and Carrie Kemp - Guatamalan Mission:  bringing Mayan textiles and baskets
  • My Choices:  aims to reduce domestic violence in India through thousands of PeaceMakers who are a local trained women who educate and assist. The My Choices Sustainability Program offers bags, scarves, pillow covers and throw blankets made from 100% silk. Futher information here.

Minnesota Public Radio has announced they will rebroadcast Rabbi Harold Kushner's recent talk at The Basilica of Saint Mary on their station on Wednesday, November 24, at Noon and 9:00pm. Tune in to 91.1FM in the Twin Cities if you'd like to hear the recording.

Thanksgiving Preparations

The Basilica of Saint Mary Employment Ministry and Our Lady of Grace Catholic School student council worked hard today to distribute 29 bins of food to guests in our employment ministry today.  Our Lady of Grace School student council worked with parent volunteers and teachers to put together the bins of food - complete with tablecloths, napkins, recipes, cooking ware and turkeys.  The children were here from 11:30am – 2:30pm setting up, attending Noon Mass, checking people in, serving them refreshments, bringing the food to their cars, and then cleaning up.  

We are extremely grateful for the gift of this community and the opportunities provided through the employment ministry. Thank you!

Prayer for Peace

The Basilica of Saint Mary held a Prayer for Peace service Sunday, November 15 at 3:00pm in The Basilica.

In response to the recent attacks in France, Lebanon, Egypt, Nigeria, and many other countries, individuals from all faiths were invited to this important service.

Nearly 800 people came together for the service, which was following the Memorial March for Parish beginning at the Alliance Française building in downtown Minneapolis.

Speakers at the service included:

Vespers:  Congressman Keith Ellison

Vespers for Peace and Justice

Reflection:  Christina  Selander Bouzouina, Honorary Consul of France

Jewish Prayer for Peace:  Rabbi Morris J. Allen from Beth Jacob Congregation, Mendota Heights

Christian Prayer for Peace:  Fr. John M. Bauer, Pastor, Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis

Muslim Prayer for Peace:  Dr. Hamdy El-Sawaf from Islamic Community Center of Minnesota

  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore
  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore
  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore
  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore
  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore
  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore

The Basilica of Saint Mary kicked off its 21st Annual Icon Festival during Mass November 1 at the Basilica. Icons are borrowed from various locations throughout the Twin Cities and displayed in the sanctuary during the month of November. For more details about the Icon Festival, visit us here

  • Cross and candles enter the Basilica.
    Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
    The cross and candles enter the Basilica, leading the Icon procession Nov. 1, 2015.
  • Volunteers wait in the narthex of the Basilica before the Icon procession.
    Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
    Volunteers wait in the narthex of the Basilica before the Icon procession Nov. 1, 2015.
  • Photo provided by: 
    Kim Vrudny
    Icons adorn the altar during the Icon Festival, Nov. 1, 2015.
  • Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
    Icons are carried in during Mass Nov. 1 marking the beginning of the 21st annual Icon Festival.

2015-2016 RCIA Retreat

The Basilica's 2015-2016 RCIA class held their annual fall retreat October 24-25 for a weekend filled with faith formation, discussion, and dialogue. The retreat was held at the Mount Olivet retreat center in Farmington, MN.

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is a collaborative process of study, exploration, faith sharing, and faith formation for people who wish to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church. This is done through the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. You can be non-baptized or a previously baptized Christian.

For more information about RCIA at The Basilica, visit us online.

Hundreds gathered during the Blessing of the Animals service at the Basilica of Saint Mary Oct. 4. Animals of all shapes, sizes, and domesticity gather together to celebrate all of God's creation and ask for God's blessing on our animals.

  • A dog poses on the steps of The Basilica before processing in to the Blessing of the Animals Oct. 4, 2015.
    Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
    A dog poses on the steps of The Basilica before processing in to the Blessing of the Animals Oct. 4, 2015.
  • Dogs peak through the aisles during the Blessing of the Animals service Oct. 4, 2015.
    Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
    Dogs peak through the aisles during the Blessing of the Animals service Oct. 4, 2015.
  • A dog looks over the shoulder of her owner during the Blessing of the Animals service Oct. 4, 2015, at The Basilica.
    Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
    A dog looks over the shoulder of her owner during the Blessing of the Animals service Oct. 4, 2015, at The Basilica.
  • Dogs lay in the aisles during the Blessing of the Animals Oct. 4, 2015, at the Basilica.
    Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
    Dogs lay in the aisles during the Blessing of the Animals Oct. 4, 2015, at the Basilica.
  • Fr. Joe Gillespie sprinkles holy water on pets during the Blessing of the Animals Oct. 4, 2015, at The Basilica.
    Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
    Fr. Joe Gillespie sprinkles holy water on pets during the Blessing of the Animals Oct. 4, 2015, at The Basilica.
  • Johan van Parys, director of liturgy and sacred arts at the Basilica of Saint Mary prays over a pet during the Blessing of the Animals Oct. 4 at the Basilica. The blessing is an opportunity for pets and their owners to gather together and give thanks for all creation.
    Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
    Johan van Parys, director of liturgy and sacred arts at the Basilica of Saint Mary prays over a pet during the Blessing of the Animals Oct. 4 at the Basilica. The blessing is an opportunity for pets and their owners to gather together and give thanks for all creation.
  • Travis Salisbury, coordinator of liturgical celebrations, blesses a therapy dog Oct. 4, 2015, during the Blessing of the Animals at The Basilica.
    Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
    Travis Salisbury, coordinator of liturgical celebrations, blesses a therapy dog Oct. 4, 2015, during the Blessing of the Animals at The Basilica.
  • Kathy Mellin Grubbs holds her parrot during the Blessing of the Animals service at the Basilica of Saint Mary Oct. 4. Grubbs had her parrot blessed following the service to prayer for good health and to give thanks for all our animals.
    Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
    Kathy Mellin Grubbs holds her parrot during the Blessing of the Animals service at the Basilica of Saint Mary Oct. 4. Grubbs had her parrot blessed following the service to prayer for good health and to give thanks for all our animals.

The Basilica of Saint Mary's 2015 Annual Report features the many good things happening here. Our talented volunteers, parishioners, and friends make us a vibrant community of faith; we are excited to highlight just a few these things in this annual report. 

And it is now ready to view online. 

The annual report is focused on providing comprehensive and relevant information to all patrons of the Basilica of Saint Mary. It highlights our community’s work, resources, and financial impact throughout the past year.

If you'd like a printed copy, please contact Stacy to have one mailed to you.

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