In the fall of 2007 I was hired as The Basilica Block Party Intern. If you would have asked me as a college senior if I would still be working at The Basilica more than seven years later I probably would have said no. I loved my internship, but it was not until I began working elsewhere that I realized what a truly unique and rare place The Basilica and the community it services are.
In the spring of 2009, I returned as a full-time employee in The Basilica’s development office. Six years later, I am grateful to be a staff member and to experience The Basilica’s beauty on a daily basis.
Even as seeing the building has become part of my daily routine, I am constantly reminded by all those that enter its doors how important this building is to so many people. It is a beautiful and historic landmark, but it is more than that, it is a spiritual home to thousands, a center for the arts, a refuge for those in need and a beacon of hope in our community.
I was reminded of this again last fall, when 7 year old Owen came to visit the Basilica with his Grandmother. Like so many of us, Owen fell in love with what he saw and wanted to know how the Basilica was cared for. His Grandmother told him it takes donations from thousand of people each year to care for this historic building.
Upon hearing this Owen decided to donate from his piggy bank - $2.03 to The Basilica Landmark. But Owen did not stop there. He then turned to his family and asked them if they would join him in making their own donations, collecting an additional $45.25.
What makes Owen’s gift even more special is that it qualifies for our Participation Challenge. For every NEW Annual fund gift received, a generous anonymous donor will donate $100 to The Basilica Landmark up to $70,000. No minimum gift is required, which means Owen’s $2.03 immediately turned into $102.03.
Now we turn to you; please join Owen by making a gift to The Basilica Landmark today.
With your help, The Basilica Landmark can continue its work to address the growing needs of our parish, steward our buildings, and ensure The Basilica can continue to service our community.
This spring, we have begun construction on the Reardon Rectory to convert the unfinished space on the 4th floor to offices, archives and art storage space. Now nearly 90 years old, the Reardon Rectory cannot accommodate current and future space needs for our growing parish. Upon completion of the project the Basilica’s extensive art and archive collection will finally have proper storage as well as space for individuals to visit and view the collection. In addition to adding space to the rectory, the entire building will also receive central AC, replacing 35 individual wall units for added energy efficiency as well as updated fire suppression for added safety.
Tuck-pointing the bell towers will also take place. The featured project in this year’s Fund-a-Need auction at the Basilica Landmark Ball, The Basilica’s bell towers are in desperate need of repair. In 2011, a 300-pound exterior stone came loose from The Basilica’s west bell tower, falling from the façade and crushing the front steps. Thankfully, no one was injured, but this incident heightened the need for new mortar on these towers. Beginning in 2015, and every five years thereafter, tuck-pointing of the bell towers will be required to keep them in a safe condition and to ensure the integrity of the towers.
These are just two of many projects The Basilica Landmark will address this year, investing more than $2 million in The Basilica and its campus in 2015.
I feel deep gratitude for Owen and all those in our community for your ongoing investment in our beautiful historic landmark and campus projects. It took many hands to build the Basilica more than 100 years ago and it continues to take all of us to care for it. I ask you to please join Owen by making a gift to The Basilica Landmark today. To find more information on any Landmark projects or to make a gift please go to thebasilicalandmark.org.