For the July 4th weekend, I headed to my hometown in Iowa for my first visit post pandemic. A time for renewing relationships, fun, and reflection, I finally had the chance to see and catch up with family and life-long friends. Conversations were fast and furious as we made up for the “lost year” as many in my hometown call the pandemic.
As we shared stories and experiences from the lock down it was clear that people really missed being with family and friends. For many, that included the loss of an in-person connection to their faith community. With deep emotion they spoke about yearning to gather at daily Mass, receive the Eucharist, and connect with others serving as volunteers at church.
These expressions of their faith gave meaning, inspiration, and structure to their daily lives that they sorely missed. Denied by the need for safety during the pandemic, as restrictions have lifted, for many these in-person expressions of faith have heightened importance.
Do you share these feelings? What have you missed about being at The Basilica? Please spread the word that we are ready and happy to welcome you back to The Basilica campus for liturgies and more. Better yet, make your plans to come back to the campus and bring friends.
It’s exciting for The Basilica to once again offer a full schedule of weekend liturgies with Masses at 5:00pm Saturday evening, and Sundays at 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am and 5:00pm (note: new time). Weekday Mass is offered at 7:00am and Noon. Be assured we are also committed to continue livestreaming weekday Mass at Noon, and 9:30am and 11:30am Sunday Masses at mary.org and on our Facebook page at facebook.com/BasilicaMpls.
Throughout the pandemic, volunteers worked at outdoor projects like lawn maintenance and landscaping. Another intrepid group helped with health screening and welcoming people to in-person Mass when COVID-19 restrictions were in place. Choirs continued meeting in new ways, in small groups masked and distanced. Pathways and Young Adults ministries were first active out of doors and indoors when weather required, and they are still at it.
We have gratefully welcomed back our sandwich makers, rectory hospitality, and reception volunteers who greet those looking for a cup of coffee or a sandwich. Weekly our staff is planning how to re-open volunteer opportunities and ministries safely for all. To help clean circulating air, bi-polar needlepoint ionization technology has been expanded to all Basilica gathering spaces in the Church, Rectory, and Cowley building.
This August, we anticipate a full schedule of offerings in conjunction with the arrival of the Angels Unawares sculpture which will be displayed on The Basilica’s front plaza. The artist is Timothy Schmalz who also created the Homeless Jesus status located in front of The Basilica.
On loan through August, this Angels Unawares statue comes to us from Catholic University where it will return for permanent installation. Mark your calendars for the opening ceremony at 1:00pm on August 1. Throughout August, there will be speakers offered virtually, and daily prayer, and vigils led by community partners at The Basilica.
If you haven’t been back to The Basilica yet, I encourage you to plan your visit. Throughout the pandemic, I came in daily to an eerily quiet Basilica campus which simply did not feel right. I’m anxiously anticipating the increased buzz of people coming together in-person to express their faith in worship and ministry in the months ahead.