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Families Moving Forward (FMF) is a program of Beacon Interfaith Housing collaborative, a Twin Cities effort that, together with a network of more than 50 faith communities provides temporary, emergency shelter to families without housing. The Basilica has, for many years, been proud to serve as a “Host Congregation,” meaning that we provide three non-consecutive weeks each year of shelter for families.
The FMF program is very comprehensive – along with the “Host congregations” providing shelter/food/activities, the FMF office/day center has case workers and social workers available to carefully and gently guide families through the transition from homelessness to housing. FMF even provides bus rides in the morning to take parents and kids to work/school/job search and in the evening back to the “Host Congregations.”
Volunteers are needed to make the Basilica a home for these families during their stay. Help by providing a warm meal, leading age-appropriate activities, or conversing/listening with a receptive and non-judgmental ear. And, if you are seeking a family-friendly volunteer activity, FMF offers parents opportunities to put faith into action with teens as well as elementary-aged children.
Join us as we open our doors and hearts to families in our community who are faced with the challenges of housing. Contact Angela at 815.735.0810 to learn more about volunteering. A background check and training are required.
WASHINGTON— The President and Vice President along with Chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have issued a statement denouncing the Administration's termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program after six months.
The following statement from USCCB President Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, along with USCCB Vice President, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman, Committee on Migration, and Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima, chairman of the Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers says the "cancellation of the DACA program is reprehensible."
Over 780,000 youth received protection from the DACA program since its inception by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2012. DACA provided no legal status or government benefits but did provide recipients with temporary employment authorization to work in the United States and reprieve from deportation.
The Basilica will have a second collection the weekend of September 9 and 10 for Hurricane Harvey emergency relief for Catholic Charities.
The funds given to this collection will support humanitarian and recovery efforts of Catholic Charities USA, the official domestic relief agency of the US Catholic Church, and will provide pastoral and rebuilding support to impacted dioceses.
We join together in prayer for all our brothers and sister suffering the effect of this storm and flooding.
Thank you for your prayers and support of the victims.
Make a gift online. Select Hurricane Harvey Relief on the designation drop down menu.
Every year The Basilica community comes together to celebrate and connect at the Fall Festival (formerly known as the Parish Picnic). This is a large event and it takes a dedicated team of volunteers to plan and organize all the activities. Recently Jenessa, a member of this team, connected with our Gifts Leadership Team to share her story on why she chooses to share her time and talent with us:
“I started volunteering at The Basilica about a year ago. I began by helping out with Basilica Young Adults (BYA) sandwich making and later joined the Basilica Block Party Planning Committee, then the Fall Festival Committee. When I moved to Minneapolis a year ago, everything was new. I was in a new city, a new job, and a new church. The community at The Basilica is why I became a member of the church.
I volunteer because I believe that I am actively working toward maintaining and improving the community that I fell in love with when I moved here. My hope is that I, along with others who serve, can continue to spread the love of Christ and welcome people from all walks of life into our community. I quickly learned that volunteering at The Basilica is whatever you want it to be. As someone who often travels for work, I was worried about making commitments that I wouldn’t be able to keep. Everyone has his or her own reservations about volunteering, but because there are many different volunteer opportunities, with various levels of commitment you can work around your schedule and your needs.”
We invite you to celebrate The Basilica community with us next Sunday, September 10 during our Fall Festival—outside on the West Lawn following the 9:30am, 11:30am, and 4:30pm Masses.
STATEMENT REGARDING RECENT ACTS OF TERRORISM AND VIOLENCE
From Archbishop Bernard Hebda and Bishop Andrew Cozzens
DATE: August 18, 2017
The recent violent attacks in Charlottesville and Barcelona, as well as the bombing at a Bloomington Mosque earlier this month, have forced all of us to confront the existence of evil in this world. We join men and women of good will around our Archdiocese and around the globe who condemn all senseless violence and expressions of hatred. While we cannot know or judge what is in the heart of another, we know that we need to confront any evidence that racism and hateful prejudice reside in our hearts. The temptation to hopelessness is all too real, but we know that we have in Christ the answer to despair.
Pope Francis reminds us: “The Christian’s real force is the force of truth and of love, which involves renouncing all forms of violence. Faith and violence are incompatible! Instead, faith and strength go together. Christians are not violent; they are strong. And with what kind of strength? That of meekness, the strength of meekness, the strength of love.”
We must be people of encounter who look for opportunities to engage others in ways that acknowledge the dignity of each human person. Living in such a diverse community, the possibilities are real and endless. We need to be witnesses of peace, hope, kindness and charity, which should begin in our homes, neighborhoods and parishes.
Let us acknowledge and promote the power of prayer. We ask the faithful of this Archdiocese and our neighbors of good will to join us in praying for those who have been killed and injured, as well as for all who have experienced the scourge of racism and discrimination. The Mass for Reconciliation (#16 in the Roman Missal) and the Mass in Time of War or Civil Disturbance (#31) would both be appropriate for parishes to celebrate in the days to come. Let us pray for peace, patience and solidarity in our community and among all peoples.
Director of Communications
Every year in August and September, we focus on Stewardship of Gifts at The Basilica—a time to reflect on our God given gifts and talents and how we can share them with our communities. This year we have asked volunteers from a variety of ministries to share their stories with you. Today’s story comes from Chris who has volunteered with a variety of ministries for several years. Most recently she has been an integral part of the Immigrant Support Ministry and with her husband, has been part of the planning committee for our second annual School Supply Drive for the Ascension Catholic School in Minneapolis. Committee members from this ministry will be available today during our Basilica Day celebration on the West Lawn following morning masses.
Chris says, “I choose to volunteer at The Basilica because of the wide variety of opportunities I have been invited to be a part of that present me with the opportunity to manifest Christ’s calling to “Love One Another.” As part of my work on behalf of The Basilica, I have met many wonderful people and connected with other groups of faith and non faith-based organizations who share a genuine, compassionate, selfless desire to be of service to others.
“One of my most recent and memorable experiences was last spring when I participated with a group from the Immigration Advocacy Committee to work with Immigrants at a shelter supported by the Sisters of Loreto in El Paso, TX. There were many moments that took my breath away, when every day the face of Christ was so visible in mothers, fathers, children of every age, and volunteers, and we heard stories of great courage, hardship, strength, kindness, unfailing faith, and trust in strangers. It is not possible to experience this and not be changed and challenged to do more.
“I encourage all Basilica parishioners to check out the volunteer opportunities that may involve a brief time commitment.”
Join us for Mass on Sunday, August 13, as our choirs return to celebrate the Basilica’s Solemn Dedication.
Following 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30am Masses
Stay after Mass for an ice cream social and celebration of the amazing work being done in our ministries. Enjoy Sebastian Joe’s ice cream as well as activities for children and adults, and tours of the Mary Garden.
500 years later: Luther in our times
The Martin Luther exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) was the first of many lectures, concerts, exhibits, and prayer services that will mark the year leading up to October 31, 2017. This day is the 500th anniversary of Luther’s famous nailing of his 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. These events offer opportunities to study Luther and Lutheranism against the backdrop of our 21st century and increasingly dynamic political, social and religious realities.
Occasioned by this anniversary of the Reformation, Mia organized an impressive exhibit dedicated to Martin Luther, the de facto father of the Protestant Reformation. Art and artifacts from around Germany were gathered to shed light on the life of Luther against the background of the very complex political and religious realities of his time. It was a wildly popular exhibit, especially for the many Lutherans who inhabit our state.
Very prominent in the exhibit was the pulpit used by Martin Luther. I spent quite a bit of time looking at it and listening to onlookers’ comments. Some thought it looked very Catholic, which indeed it was at one point. Others wondered if anyone else but Luther had ever preached from that pulpit, which of course they did. Someone mused if a Rabbi had ever spoken from that pulpit. Someone chimed in, “what about an Imam?” “Probably not,” I thought. “But maybe one day.”
Pulpits are very important in our houses of worship. Rabbis, priests, imams, pastors, and other faith leaders address their congregations from their pulpits. And when they speak from the pulpit they speak with great authority. It is from the pulpit that all sorts of hatred and divisions have been preached throughout the ages, a practice which even continues today. By contrast, the pulpit is best used to build bridges, to invite people in to a culture of encounter, to preach love and compassion. Pulpits should be used to unite, not to divide.
I was happy to be a member of the group responsible for the interfaith interpretation of the Luther exhibit. Our group included representatives from Judaism, Christianity and Islam. We had candid and enlightening conversations which enriched our understanding of Luther and one another. We were able to connect with each other on a very profound level without denouncing our own faiths. We built bridges and broke down walls.
Maybe this anniversary can be an occasion to take the next step in the ongoing reform of our faith communities, a step that we can all take together.
Pope Francis has called on Catholics to preach A Revolution of Love and Tenderness and to live it out in our communities. There is nothing exclusively Catholic about this.
On the contrary, all of us- Jews, Christians, Muslims and all people of faith- can and ought to respond to the challenges posed by our divided and broken world with love and tenderness. Just imagine if all of us preached a shared Revolution of Love and Tenderness from the pulpits in our synagogues, churches, mosques, and temples all around the world.
Now that would be a radical reformation. It is time. Humanity has waited long enough.
By Johan M. J. van Parys, Ph.D.
Published BASILICA Magazine Spring 2017, A Revolution of Love and Tenderness
For 22 years, the Basilica has worked on Habitat for Humanity houses throughout our community, helping to make the joy and stability of home ownership a reality for local families. The Basilica has partnered with Habitat by sponsoring a week-long annual “work camp.” Every summer, the Basilica provides a sponsorship fee and volunteers each day for five days to work on a home. Throughout the past two decades, the Basilica team has taken part in building a variety of home types including townhomes, duplexes, and single-family dwellings.
Volunteers who participate in the “work camp” are treated to complimentary breakfast and lunch each day, provided by generous donors, and many volunteers return year after year. Basilica teams have been instrumental helping local families achieve their dream of affordable home ownership. And, Basilica groups have also played a significant role in assisting to re-build areas of north Minneapolis that were damaged by the devastating tornado which hit the region several years ago.
Within the Habitat “work camp” there are volunteer activities for everyone of all ages—those 16 and up are welcomed to build. No experience with construction is required—we’ll train you and you may work at your own comfort level. Anyone of any age can help to greet the builders and/or make/serve snacks or breakfast/lunch.
Dates for the 2017 “work camp” are Monday, August 7- Friday, August 11 in North Minneapolis. Contact Julia to register. Don’t miss this fun, faith-filled, and rewarding opportunity!
Changing Hearts, Changing Minds, Recognizing Christ
The Basilica of Saint Mary announces the commissioning of Homeless Jesus sculpture
The Basilica of Saint Mary has recently commissioned a Timothy P. Schmalz Homeless Jesus bronze sculpture. The sculpture of a life-size Christ figure shrouded in a blanket on a park bench will take several months to create. Schmalz’s Homeless Jesus is an internationally recognized symbol of compassion and awareness for the homeless with sculptures located in major cities throughout the world.
The meaning of the Homeless Jesus sculpture is to truly change hearts and minds towards people in need. The sculpture is designed to challenge and inspire each of us to be more compassionate and charitable and to see Jesus in each person we meet, and to take action to help end homelessness locally and around the world. The sculpture will be a vibrant piece in The Basilica’s sacred art collection.
We are currently working with our landscape architects to prepare the installation space on The Basilica campus. This sculpture has been funded by a select group of anonymous donors who are passionate about art and The Basilica community.
Leading up to the arrival of the sculpture The Basilica will engage the community with educational presentations addressing the issues of homelessness. We look forward to sharing with our community the installation and dedication of the sculpture on November 19, the World Day of the Poor, designated by Pope Francis.
You should defend those who cannot help themselves. Yes, speak up for the poor and needy and see that they get justice. Proverbs 31:8
More information about the sculpture-Q&A