I vividly remember coming to The Basilica with my son one Saturday evening for a Mass of Anticipation in early December. An unseasonably cold day brought an unexpected snow storm – the heavy, wet and slushy snow that local meteorologists sometimes call a “wintery mix” that can chill one to the bone. We parked in the parking ramp and were exiting the stairwell doors along 16th Street when we saw a gentleman shuffling along 16th Street toward Loring Park pushing everything he owned in a shopping cart.
He was underdressed and obviously unprepared for the weather, which was only going to get colder as the evening wore on. I reached into my purse for some cash, approached him, gave him the money and said that I hoped he could get a warm meal somewhere indoors. His whole face lit up and seeing his excited reaction gave me great joy as well.
The interaction also prompted a valuable conversation with my son about needs and wants. He was then nine years old and the season of Christmas giving was fast approaching. He, like many children (and adults!), had a list of gifts he was hoping to receive. This experience prompted an invitation to empathetically compare his list of “needs” to the possible list of needs the man would make.
This weekend, as the Gospel instructs us “if anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35), we ask for your generosity to our St. Vincent de Paul ministries to provide assistance to people in our community that are the most vulnerable and in need. Your gift, no matter the size, helps our Basilica serve people in our community every single day. 100% of your gift goes directly to those in need.
During these days of COVID-19, increased unemployment and unrest, our efforts are more important than ever. Our ministry supports people without permanent shelter, parishioner families who are impacted financially due to the ongoing pandemic, and families in North Minneapolis who are struggling.
Thank you in advance for your participation in our second collection and for your commitment to the well-being of our neighbors in need.
You can make your gift online at mary.org/svdpgive or by check with St. Vincent de Paul noted in the memo line.