Parishioners are invited to nominate excellent candidates to represent Christian Life and Learning to the Parish Council by April 6. 

Parish Council members serve as an advisory group to the Pastor and assist with strategic planning, creation of effective communication structures, policies and procedures, and educating parishioners about biblical stewardship.

Complete this online form or contact Terri Ashmore for more information. 

Learn more about Parish Council.

Photo Interior People Basilica Ushers

A Call to Service

The Catholic Church is a centuries old, hierarchical organization that can sometimes feel very exclusive. As “regular” parishioners we see Priests, Nuns, Bishops, and Cardinals as the leaders and decision makers in our church.

While those ministries hold special auspices as a result of graces given at ordination, we as lay (non-ordained) members also have a distinct and very real role in the spreading of the Gospel as a result of our Baptism. The Church teaches that laypeople are absolutely equal to those in ordained and religious life. The laity is how the world encounters Christ and the Church encounters the world.

We all have increasingly busy lives; careers, school, dating, children, aging parents, and the regular burdens of everyday life. We take one hour out of our week on Saturday or Sunday for God, and then go about our business. 
If you are like me, sometimes my mind wanders during mass (Sorry, Fr. Bauer) to things like:

  • “Gosh, the plaster is looking really bad up on the arches”
  •  “I wonder how the archdiocesan bankruptcy is going” 
  • “They’re taking up another collection for the heating? Don’t they have a budget?”
  • “I feel like I don’t have any way of making any real change within our Church”

In moments like this, I think of a quote from former President Barak Obama: 

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” 

Back in the spring of 2013 I was finishing graduate school when I heard about upcoming Parish council elections. I had been involved in The Basilica Voices for Justice but as I thought about it, I decided that I wanted to take on something more, to have a larger platform to represent the young adults of our Parish. I decided to run as a representative for Liturgy. 

Parish Council members serve as an advisory group to the Pastor and assist with planning, communication, policies and procedures, and education of parishioners. We are sensitive to the needs, ambitions and desires of The Basilica community to fulfill its mission—we are your representatives, your voice.

This year, the Parish Council is embarking on the creation of a 5-year strategic plan as well as engaging a Liturgical Design Consultant for a whole-campus evaluation. This is a very exciting time as we work to propel our parish into success in the future.

Our Parish Council is composed of:

  • 6 elected members including 2 representatives for Learning, Christian Life, and Liturgy
  • 3 appointed "at large" members,
  • Appointed representatives from the Finance and Development Committees,
  • 4 ex-officio members 

The deadline for Parish Council nominations is April 6. There is an online application here. You may nominate yourself or someone you think would thrive in one of the positions. 

Parish Council is not the only way to get involved at The Basilica. There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities—one-time events, and long-term engagements. This thriving, robust parish is not solely run by Father Bauer—he needs teams of people to make our mission happen.

In the words of the Catechism (CCC 899): “Lay believers are in the front line of Church life. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church.”


For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.  

“Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”  This request was made to Philip by “Some Greeks” at the beginning of this Sunday’s Gospel.   After learning of their request Jesus didn’t respond directly.  Instead he said: “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.”   He then went on to talk about the hour which was coming, and this being the purpose for which he came.    He then prayed: “Father, glorify you name.”   We are then told that a voice came from heaven saying: “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.”   Jesus then told the people:  “This voice did not come for my sake, but for yours.  Now is the time of judgment on this world;  now the ruler of this world will be driven out.  And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself”   

Now given the above, this Gospel would seem to be a bit disjointed, without a logical progression of thought.   The thread that ties this passage together, though, is found in the question posed by the Greeks: “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”   Often times in the scriptures, people want to “see” Jesus.  They are comfortable seeing him from a distance.  Jesus, though, is clear he doesn’t want people to stay at a distance from him.  He wants them to follow him.  And if they chose to follow him, he also wants them to come to know him.  Jesus is also clear, though, that knowing him won’t guarantee a life of ease, or a life free of difficulties or trials.  Rather his followers are to give up their way, and follow his way.   In this regard, in our Gospel today Jesus is clear; “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am there also will my servant be.  The Father will honor whoever serves me.” 

Our first reading this Sunday is taken from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah.   In it God tells the people that because their forbearers broke the old covenant, He will make a “new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”   The terms of the covenant are stated clearly.   “I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”  

In our second reading this Sunday the author of the Letter to the Hebrews reminds the people that Jesus, “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered, and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:  

1.  The request of the Greeks: “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” suggests to me that often we want to stay at a distance from Jesus.   As a friend of mine puts it: “at times we more admire than strive to imitate Jesus.”    Do you agree or disagree? 

2.  In the first reading God told the people of Israel that He was making a new covenant with them.  What does the word “covenant” mean to you?

3.   What does it mean for you to “obey” Jesus?  

Health care providers and trainees, churches, and others are being forced to participate in abortions or provide coverage for it in their health care plans. Federal conscience laws prohibit such coercion, but these laws continue to be violated—mostly because they don’t provide victims with the ability to defend their rights in court.

The Conscience Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 644, S. 301) would address loopholes in current laws and provide victims with the right to sue in court. Congress will decide soon (most likely during the week of March 12) whether to include the Conscience Protection Act in must-pass government funding legislation.


  1. Pray that Congress enacts the CPA, and activate prayer warriors, chains, and groups.
    Intention: We pray that Congress will include the Conscience Protection Act in the Fiscal Year 2018 funding bill.
  2. Call and email your U.S. senators and representatives and forward the action alert to others.  Members of Congress can be reached by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121.


From Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz:

"Increasing and fierce attacks on conscience rights regarding abortion cry out for an immediate remedy. Nurses and other health care providers and institutions are being forced to choose between participating in abortions or leaving health care altogether. Churches and pro-life Americans are being forced to provide coverage for elective abortions—including late-term abortions—in their health care plans. Opponents and supporters of abortion should be able to agree that no one should be forced to participate in abortion. Congress must remedy this problem by enacting the Conscience Protection Act now as part of the FY 2018 funding bill.

We call on all the faithful to pray and to act by emailing and calling Congress in the coming week especially on Monday, March 12 with the message that enacting the Conscience Protection Act is urgently needed to protect Americans from being forced to violate their deeply held convictions about respect for human life. Your calls and emails to your Members of Congress really do make a difference, so please act now to protect conscience rights!"



Racism is not merely one sin among many; it is a radical evil that divides the human family and denies the new creation of a redeemed world. To struggle against it demands an equally radical transformation, in our own minds and hearts as well as in the structure of our society.” Brothers and Sisters To Us, USCCB, 1979

During the summer of 2016, the Twin Cities experienced a wave of protests and unrest after the shooting of Philando Castile by a police officer in St. Anthony, MN. The upheaval throughout the Twin Cities was in direct response to the deep and longstanding effects of racism in our state. Uncovered and exposed were the inequalities and injustices behind virtually every statistic of Minnesota’s quality of life: including our state’s education gap, income disparity, homeownership, and violent crime. 

  • On April 29, 2016, the Pioneer Press reported “Minnesota has some of the worst racial disparities in the nation—gaps that have widened over the past five decades and that soon may create a statewide economic crisis. U.S. Census data show most Minnesota families of color now have median incomes about half those of their white neighbors.”
  • On August 18, 2017, the Pioneer Press reported “Minnesota schools have grown more segregated and the state’s nation-leading academic achievement gap refuses to close. 
    • Black Students: Reading proficiency, 33% and Math proficiency, 28%
    • White Students: Reading proficiency, 69% and Math proficiency, 68%
  • Headline in the Star Tribune on August 17, 2017 read, “Already-low homeownership rates of Twin Cities minorities fall further,” with 75% whites and only 23% blacks owning homes. 
  • A report in August 2017 from the Minneapolis Police Department that covers the period 2009 to 2014 states, while blacks made up 18.6% of the population in Minneapolis, 79% of victims of homicide are black. 

During the summer and fall of 2016, The Basilica leadership intentionally engaged in reflection and self-examination: How was The Basilica living faithfully by actively confronting issues of racism and being a force of racial reconciliation in the community? Strikingly, we discovered that, while The Basilica is engaged in the community in many ways, we are not living up to our mission in this area.

In the fall of 2016, The Basilica Parish Council unanimously voted to support a parish-wide, sustained effort to address the issue of racism. In February 2017, a Basilica team met for the first time—a team to help shape a parish wide initiative for racial reconciliation. 

The team began slowly, prayerfully discerning direction, sharing stories, and developing trust. This Lent, The Basilica officially launched Imago Dei: The Basilica Initiative for Racial Reconciliation. Imago Dei—the Image of God. Rooted in the absolute belief that all humans beings are created in the image of God, The Basilica will devote itself to this effort by praying for empowerment to overcome this radical evil in our lives and communities, by learning about institutionalized racism and its insidious presence in our Church and society, by engaging across lines of difference, and by advocating for social change.

The Basilica of Saint Mary is dedicated to the eradication of racism, and seeks to become a community of racial reconciliation. Look for ways to engage in this important work. This is the work of our time. For more information, contact Janice.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 11:00AM-12:30PM
Please join us for the last session in this series and hear first hand from Oshea Israel and Mary Johnson about the power of forgiveness. 

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. 
When the camera scans the crowd at football or baseball games, often times there will be at least one person in the crowd holding up a sign that reads:  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life.”   These words, taken from this weekend’s Gospel, remind us that our God loves us so much that God gave form and flesh to that love in the human person of Jesus Christ.   More than this, though, God’s love is so great that God wants to share that love with us not just in this life, but in eternal life.   This love is offered to us freely, completely and without hesitation or qualificaiton.  It is a love that is beyond belief and without reason.  
I believe the message of God’s undeserved, unending and immeasurable love for us is one that we can’t hear too often.   I say this because there are many people who want to limit the embrace of God’s love to a chosen few, or who would have you believe that somehow we need to earn God’s love.   Both of these ideas are fundamentally wrong.  God loves us as we are, simply because we are.   There are no limits to God’s love.   And the only barrier to God’s love is the hardness of our own hearts.  God never forces God’s love on us.   It is offered freely and willingly.   We only have to accept it.   And whoever accepts God’s love does the works of God and is given the promise of eternal life.   
Our first reading this weekend is taken from the second Book of Chronicles.  It tells how the priests and the people of Judah had turned away from God, despite the fact that “Early and often did the Lord, the God of their fathers, send his messengers to them, for he had compassion on his people and his dwelling place.”  Because of their infidelity, God allowed them to be conquered and led into captivity in Babylon.   
Our second reading this weekend is taken from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians.   In it Paul reminds the Ephesians, and us, that God is rich in mercy and that “by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.”   
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
  1. When have you felt God’s love in your life?
  2. When have you refused to accept and live in God’s love?
  3. What would you say to someone who tried to tell you that you that God’s love was limited to a chosen few, or that you had to earn God’s love. 

St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Coin Banks are available in the church throughout Lent. Your financial gifts truly make a difference in people’s lives and 100% percent of every dollar you donate goes back to help someone in need locally. During Lent, please take a coin bank, fill it, and bring it back on Holy Thursday.

Last year alone, your donations to SVdP Ministry:

  • Helped 286 families keep their housing and prevented them from homelessness.
  • Provided bus cards or gas vouchers to more than 4,000 people to help them get to work, school, or appointments.
  • Offered a meal and practical and spiritual support to 900 participants in our Pathways life-skills programs. 


More information on our St. Vincent de Paul Ministy.

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.     

Our Church has always taught that Jesus is true God and true man.  In this Sunday’s Gospel --- the familiar story of the cleansing of the temple --- we get a glimpse into Jesus’ humanity.  We are told that Jesus “found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep and doves, as well as the money changers seated there.  He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, ‘Take these out of here and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.’”   

In addition to being a good example of Jesus’ humanity, what are we to make of this incident?   First, it would be wrong to use this incident to justify our own outbursts of anger.  I say this because Jesus’ anger was directed at a situation, not a person.  It was not hurtful or vengeful.  It was very controlled, specific and limited in duration.  And its purpose was not to offend or put down.   Rather, the point and purpose of Jesus’ anger was to call people back to the reason they came to the temple.  The temple was not a place to conduct business; rather it was a place where people could worship and attend to their relationship with God.   Jesus’ anger reminded them (and us) of this fundamental truth.   

Our first reading this Sunday is taken from the Book of Exodus.  It is the story of God giving the Ten Commandments to the Israelites.  And as we all know, the third commandment is “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.”  Clearly the people in today’s Gospel were not heedful of this commandment.   

Our second reading this Sunday is taken from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians.  In blunt and stark terms, Paul reminds us that “Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.”    

Questions for Reflection/Discussion: 

  1. Have you ever used Jesus’ display of anger to justify your own anger?
  2. How do you keep holy the Sabbath day? 
  3. I suspect that for people who don’t come from a Christian background, the idea of a crucified Savior could be a stumbling block.  How would you explain Jesus’ crucifixion to a non-Christian?  


Currently, nearly two million young people who qualify as Dreamers are anxiously waiting for lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to come up with a bipartisan bill ahead of the March 5 deadline, when protections for DACA youth expire.  

Archbishop Hebda has asked all people of good will to call their federal lawmakers on Monday, February 26, and urge them to move forward with debate on legislation to provide relief to Dreamers – those young people who were brought to the U.S. by their parents without proper documentation.  For more information, vistit the Archdiocesan website.


The Basilica Landmark’s mission is to preserve, restore, and advance the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations. This mission is lived out in various ways every year on projects both big and small. Some are highly visible like the recent restoration of the St. Anthony Chapel or tuckpointing of the church exterior.  
On the other hand, some projects go unnoticed. These do not have the glitz of a restored chapel or the visibility of tuckpointing. However, after several years of significant renovations and capital investments made possible by The Basilica Landmark, I am proud to report the City of Minneapolis awarded The Basilica of Saint Mary a 2017 Building Energy Performance Award for outstanding energy reduction. By working with the Facilities Assessment and Ecological volunteer committees, we have identified slightly less visible, but extremely impactful energy savings solutions that meet our ecological goals.
Over the past three years with the help of our generous donors we have:
  •  Replaced three original 1913 boilers with new more efficient equipment.
  •  Renovated the Rectory and School buildings with central air conditioning, replacing 35 window units.
  •  Updated to LED lighting in the campus interior and exterior including the bell towers, church sanctuary, and lower level.
These improvements resulted in a 21% energy use reduction, lowering our energy costs and increasing our energy efficiency. With your help, we can continue to improve our energy reductions.
The Basilica Landmark Board has determined the “Fund-a-Need” program at this year’s Basilica Landmark Ball will support converting interior dome lighting to responsible LED lighting. Existing power loads at full intensity utilize 29,000 watts. During one hour of Mass, they cost $2.90. With the same light output, the new LED power load will use approximately 5,220 watts and cost $0.52. Not only will this project reduce our energy use by 82%, it will also provide significant cost savings that can be reinvested in programs and ministries.
We hope you will consider supporting the “Fund-a-Need” program by joining us for an evening of illuminating power at The Basilica Landmark Ball on May 5, 2018, at the Solar Arts Building. It promises to be a wonderful evening of dinner, dancing, and amusements for a wonderful cause. 
If you would like to support the “Fund-a-Need” project for this year’s event but are unable to attend, you can do so online or contact Monica Stewart. Your gift will ensure a future of sustaining power for the people and the purpose we serve.
Help us illuminate the mission of The Basilica Landmark as we transform our interior dome lighting to LEDs—offering our historic space a life-sustaining future for the people and purpose we serve. To purchase tickets, visit