What adjective would you choose to describe the curve balls 2020 has thrown us? Unexpected, topsy turvy, isolating, crazy, frustrating? (And probably some not fit to print) This list could go on and on.
In the face of these challenges, one unshakeable experience for me has been working with our team of staff at The Basilica. Their commitment to continue to offer opportunities for worship and ministry has never waivered. We may have changed, but we never stopped.
In March, we started with an iPhone camera to offer Mass virtually on FaceBook Live. That quickly evolved with a great camera crew from Qwickcast who made us feel like we were in The Basilica during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday, even as we watched from our living room sofas. Your generosity kept us going.
This summer a six camera system of our own was made possible by a Basilica Landmark donor. Since bringing this system online, over twenty Basilica staff members have been trained to use it. We’re still learning, but today livestreaming liturgies like Masses, weddings, funerals, baptisms, confirmations is a regular part of daily life at the parish. Former parishioners and friends from around the country are finding us online and joining these livestreamed liturgies.
We’ve been able to re-open for the public too—now offering two weekday Masses at 7:00am and Noon (also livestreamed), and Sunday Masses at 11:30am and 4:30pm (with 9:30am livestreamed), and Reconciliation at 9:00am Saturdays. To keep everyone safe in this world changed by COVID-19, new Mass protocols are in place and routine including pre-registration, limited numbers, sanitizing our hands, wearing masks and social distancing. Together, staff and volunteers are working to welcome people into The Basilica as safely as we can.
Coffee and sandwiches are still available daily for those who are hungry. Volunteers, book clubs and speaker series are all meeting virtually. Speakers offer perspectives from our faith in presentations and discussions on immigration, nationalism, citizenship, mental health, and more.
Employment Ministry Mentors are meeting with job seekers over Zoom. Mentors of Minneapolis College students who have experienced homelessness continue their work and offer their support. St. Vincent de Paul volunteers are doing outreach by phone. Faith Formation for children and teens is being offered virtually too, with families receiving a home prayer kit and supplies. Young Adult Bible Study and Pathways for those looking to build skills to stabilize their lives are active as well. The response to these offerings has been amazing and we are grateful.
Day to day ministries continue as volunteers share the gift of their faith in so many ways, albeit often virtually. These ministries and offerings can only continue to happen with your financial support. Will you commit to a recurring gift to The Basilica Fund in the coming year?
We need your help to empower our mission and our ministries. Consider what gift works for you weekly or monthly. Ideally, set this up electronically for automatic withdrawal. It’s easy, and if you need to, you can change this at any time. Giving electronically helps us plan, saves money and makes your contributions go even farther. We are grateful for your support in these challenging times.