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Archives: May 2019
150 years old and going strong.
Our Basilica parish community continues to thrive, but strong committed volunteer leaders are critical to our future. This weekend, all adult parishioner members have an opportunity to support candidates running for our Parish Council by casting their votes.
Hopefully, you’ve seen the paper ballot included in the parish bulletin that should have recently arrived at your home. This year we will elect members to represent Liturgy and Sacred Arts and also our Learning ministries.
Online voting is available now. Please, take a moment to vote.
Leadership matters. The role of the Council is to be sensitive to the needs, ambitions, and desires of the Parish community as we strive to fulfill our mission and vision. By sharing their insights, ideas, and suggestions with our Pastor, Council members help our leaders make thoughtful, informed decisions. Key to their success as a group is collaboration and consultation. Each Council meeting is grounded by prayer and sharing about the Sunday Gospel.
Our Parish Council includes elected and appointed representatives of the ministries and governance groups in our community. Together, members of the Parish Council serve and advise our Pastor. They are asked to chart a course for our future through Strategic Planning, and by sharing their hopes, their thoughts, and concerns. Members are also asked to be good listeners, and to keep a handle on the pulse of the parish.
In addition to focusing on the future of the parish, principle responsibilities of the Council include seeking input from the parishioners and staff. They provide guidance to help the parish facilitate communication among our members, and the many volunteer committees and ministries. They also provide for the support and monitoring of ministries with a special focus on ensuring the fulfillment of the strategic plan.
Council members assist in the education of parishioners about the meaning of biblical stewardship, its responsibilities, and the benefits of membership in our parish community. They also respond to recommendations from the Finance Committee and have responsibilities to insure our parish’s financial health. Throughout this work, members share their expertise, their passion for their faith, and they provide counsel and support to our Pastor.
In the coming year, important work and conversations will continue on Master Planning for our campus and implementing our new Strategic Plan. Our Council members will help lead us as work on these important initiatives progress.
As we look to the future, having active volunteers invested in leading our Parish, committed to partnering with our volunteers, staff, and our Pastor are critically important to our success in carrying out our vision. Please take time to vote, and consider how you can be a part of helping The Basilica of Saint Mary achieve our aspirations to be a Home of Spiritual Nourishment, a Beacon of Hope, and an Advocate for Change.
For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. http://usccb.org/bible/readings/060219-ascension.cfm
Today we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord. This Feast used to be celebrated on the Thursday before the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Several years ago, though, the Bishops of the United States moved the celebration of the Ascension to what would have been the Seventh Sunday of Easter.
Our Gospel this Sunday is the last few verses of the Gospel of Luke. In it we are told that Jesus led his disciples as far as Bethany and then told them he was “sending the promise of my Father upon you” Then,…………he raised his hands and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven.”
The above scene is also recorded in our first reading this Sunday from the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles. In this account Jesus promised that his disciples “will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you………… When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.”
As I reflected on these readings, I remembered a wonderful homily preached by another priest at his mother’s funeral. In his homily he noted that while his mother had died, she would continue to live on. He then went on to name various people and situations where his mother’s presence would be known and felt. His message was clear. While physically gone, his mother’s presence would continue to be experienced. This is the same message of our Gospel and first reading. While Jesus would no longer be with his disciples physically, he would continue to be with them. We experience this abiding presence of Christ in many ways, but most evidently in the Eucharist, in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the grace of God that is continually being offered to us.
Our second reading this weekend is taken from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians. In it Paul prays that the “eyes of your hearts be enlightened and that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call ………………..and what is the surpassing greatness of his power.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- When have you felt someone’s presence even though they were not physically with you?
- When have you felt God’s presence in your life?
- I loved Paul’s use of the phrase “eyes of your heart.” When have you seen some one/thing through the eyes of the heart?
Brother David Steindl-Rast is a 90+ year old Benedictine monk from Austria. In a 2015 interview with Krista Tippet of On Being he posited that every religion starts with some sort of miracle. Soon though, the miracle is cloaked in structures and institutions, developed to protect the miracle. Before long these structures and institutions not only protect but also obscure the miracle. Inevitably, the pains to safeguard the structures become more important than the efforts to reveal and celebrate the miracle.
Our miracle, or better, our Mystery is the empty tomb. It is the fact that God became one of us, lived among us, died for us, and rose from the dead so that we might live. That was the simple but profound experience and message of the earliest followers of Jesus. As the number of followers grew, structures had to be established. And as more questions were asked about our Mystery, theologies needed to be discussed and developed.
To date, we have some 2000 years worth of theological elucidation and ecclesiastical manifestation. And while these developed to portray, to protect and to promote our Mystery they have also done much harm to that very Mystery. When protecting the structures and institutions became more important than celebrating the Mystery, many scandals started to befall Christianity. Just think about the many divisions the Body of Christ has endured over the centuries. Had Christians paid more attention to our shared Mystery rather than the separating trappings around it we might be better off today. More recently, had the Church paid more attention to the Mystery of our Church rather than to the institution of the Church the evil of child abuse in our Church could have been addressed much earlier and with greater honesty.
Brother Steindl-Rast compares the beginnings of all religions with a Volcano. “There was fire, there was heat, there was light: the light of mystical insight, the glow of ethical commitment, and the fire of ritual celebration... But, as that stream of lava flowed down the sides of the mountain, it began to cool off and turn into rock. Dogmatism, moralism, ritualism: all are layers of ash deposits and volcanic rock that separate us from the fiery magma deep down below. But there are fissures and clefts in the rock. These represent the great men and women who reformed and renewed religious tradition from within. In one way or another, this is our task, too.”
During the Sacred Triduum we celebrated our Mystery: the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We did that without great theological debate or ecclesiastical posturing. It was a simple and pure celebration of our Mystery. Let us hold on to that. Let us not be blinded by all the trappings and extravagance of our church, rather let us always behold and embrace our Mystery: the source of “mystical insight, the glow of ethical commitment, and the fire of ritual celebration.”
As we continue our parish’s year-long sesquicentennial celebration, this issue looks at some people at The Basilica who said “yes” to God’s invitations to service, using varied gifts to form one body in order to do Christ’s work abundantly.
One person provided beautiful bells to our parish, named after “everyday” saints who also answered God’s call. Some assist and guide our parish’s strategic planning and campus space initiatives. Others lend their voices to our Cathedral choir, performing in an interfaith Together in Hope concert. Many more help at Basilica events, including the 25th annual Basilica Block Party, the recent wedding reunion, or the upcoming all school reunion.
Melissa Streit, Editor
Thank you to the dedicated volunteer team who created the issue.
Inside this issue:
Our Parish, Our Future
Focusing on the next five years
by Bob Kleiber
The Future of The Basilica
Planning for our space needs
by Kathy Andrus
Our Teresa of Calcutta Hall
A place of service, fellowship, and community
by Melissa Streit
The Arizona Borderlands
Where humanitarian aid is being criminalized
by Chris Serres
Mary, Untier of Knots
New icon commissioned
by Elyse Rethlake
Walker Art Center’s New Executive Director
An interview with Mary Ceruti
by Johan M.J. vanParys, Ph.D.
The Basilica Wedding Reunion
by Mae Desaire
The Journey of Our Bells
Our invitation to the city
by Toni McNaron
The Basilica’s Caring Ministries
How can we help?
by Rachel Newman
Together In Hope
The transformative power of music
by Nick Hansen
The Basilica Block Party
Twenty-five years of rock on the block
by Melissa Streit
The award-winning BASILICA magazine is sponsored by The Basilica Landmark, a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to preserve, restore, and advance the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations.
BASILICA is published twice a year (spring and fall) with a circulation of 20,000.
For advertising information please contact Liz Legatt.
Parishioners, please be aware of a current email scam. Fraud emails are being sent out from a gmail account impersonating Fr. Bauer. Do not open these emails or respond to them.
More information about this scam can be found in a recent article from the Catholic Spirit.
For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
This Sunday we celebrate the Sixth Sunday of the season of Easter, and once again our Gospel is taken from the Gospel of John. There are three distinct sections to this Gospel. In the first section, Jesus reminds his disciples that: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our dwelling with them.” In the second section, Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit, “the Advocate whom the Father will send in my name………” In the third section, Jesus reminds his disciples that “Peace” is his farewell gift to them. Therefore they are not to let their “hearts be troubled or afraid.”
Each of these sections is rich in meaning. In the first section, while the idea of God dwelling with his people would not have been new, the intimacy and immediacy of this indwelling would have been original. In the second section Jesus introduces his disciples to the Holy Spirit. Again, the people of this time would have a sense of God’s Spirit. And yet, here and later in John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of the Spirit as one with, yet distinct from the Father. Finally, in the third section Jesus talks about giving his disciples peace. We often think of peace as the absence of strife or tension. For the people of Jesus’ time, however, peace or shalom had a much deeper and richer meaning. It was an abiding sense of God’s presence.
Our first reading this Sunday is from the Acts of the Apostles. It is the story of one of the first conflicts in the early church. Specifically, it deals with the question of whether gentile converts to Christianity needed to be circumcised in order to be saved. (Circumcision was a sign of the Jewish convent with God.) This Sunday’s reading skips Paul and Barnabas’ trip to Jerusalem to speak to the “apostles and elders about this question” and jumps to the decision itself: “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to animals, and from unlawful marriage.”
Our second reading this Sunday is from the Book of Revelation continues John’s vision of the “holy city Jerusalem.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
1. Have you ever experienced God dwelling with you?
2. On occasion I have felt the peace that Jesus spoke of in our Gospel today. When you have experienced this peace in your life?
3. In our first reading the apostles and elders were bold in their declaration that: It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us………” When have you felt the Spirit guiding you in your life?
For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
This Sunday we celebrate the Fifth Sunday of Easter. Once again our Gospel for this weekend is taken from the Gospel of John. It comes to us in two distinct sections.
At first blush, the opening words of the first section of this Gospel are a bit puzzling: “When Judas had left them, Jesus said, ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.’” The question naturally arises as to why are we reading about Judas during the Easter season? The answer is that the setting of this Gospel is the last supper. For John, Jesus’ glorification is rooted in and grows out of his suffering. Judas’ departure set in motion the course of events that ultimately led to Jesus’ glorification. And since Jesus’ resurrection is his glorification, there is a certain appropriateness to the mention of Judas on this Fifth Sunday of our Easter season.
The second section of this Gospel begins: “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another.” Now while this is not a new commandment, what is new is the next sentence: “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” In these words Jesus really “raises the bar” in regard to what is expected of his disciples.
Our first reading this Sunday is again taken from the Acts of the Apostles. It tells of the missionary efforts of Paul and Barnabas to various cities. The last sentence tells of their arrival at Antioch. We are told: “And when they arrived, they called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.”
Our second reading this Sunday is from the Book of Revelation. It presents us with a “vision” of John of a “new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,” with a loud voice saying: “Behold God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people……….”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- The challenge for us to love one another as we have been loved by Jesus can be daunting. When have you been successful at it? When have you failed?
- While most of us are not called to be missionaries in foreign countries, we are all called to share the message of Jesus Christ in our own ways. Can you recall a time when you have given witness to Christ by what you have said or done?
- When have you been aware of God’s dwelling with you?
Twenty-five years ago, had anyone told me that I would become a member of a Church that didn’t ordain women, I would have laughed. I was Lutheran and interested in becoming a pastor. During my senior year in college, I shared these hopes with our college pastor who laid out the long path toward ordination. Realizing that starting a family was more important at that time of my life I postponed the pursuit of ordained ministry.
In 1995 I was invited to interview for the choral director position at The Basilica. The invitation didn’t come as a complete surprise. I had just conducted choirs of The Basilica, Temple Israel, and the College of Saint Benedict in an oratorio commissioned by The Basilica: Uvacharta Bachayim: Choose Life by Mona Lyn Reese. I was surprised though when this important Catholic church offered me, a Lutheran, the job.
Four years later I became Catholic. This wasn’t a big leap. The Lutheran Church in which I grew up taught me the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. So, with Johan as my sponsor and the choir watching through the grates of the sanctuary I was confirmed on April 11, 1998. I truly felt I had come home despite the unsettling fact that the old hope of becoming a pastor was still very much alive.
These past 20 years have not always been easy. I have been called a “turncoat.” I have wondered if I am a hypocrite? Why am I in a Church that doesn’t ordain women? I have indeed wrestled with the decision to remain.
Though tremendously important to me, I can’t claim that the Cathedral Choir and Choristers or the opportunity to make music in our glorious space are the primary reasons I stay. I also don’t stay because of humans, ordained or not. Human endeavors will fail. Humans themselves fail and sin as we have seen in the heart-breaking abuse cases. If I had put my faith in humans I would have left long ago.
Rather, the Eucharist, sharing in the mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ is the primary reason I stay. I love being part of a Church that has a mystery we struggle to comprehend at its center: the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It is something that is so much greater than ourselves and yet one with ourselves.
Blessedly, I have also been afforded the opportunity to be a pastor of sorts in this Catholic parish. My beloved choir members recognize this. And I am truly blessed to serve them. I also help to form the faith of many children. I have presided at Stations of the Cross, Morning, Midday, and Evening prayer. This has certainly fed my pastoral sense. I cherish these opportunities and am grateful for them.
I may not agree with everything the Catholic Church stands for and I will continue to question and struggle. But I will do so coming to the table with all of you to remember who we are—beloved children of God, the Body of Christ.
The Basilica Landmark has announced a funding initiative to refurbish the essential community space in the lower level of the church, the Teresa of Calcutta Hall. This primary gathering space in the lower level of the church serves the daily physical, mental, and emotional needs of thousands in the community. From homelessness, employment, and immigration support to interfaith collaborations, training seminars, artist exhibits and beyond—the funds raised will be designated to refurbish the essential community space.
The Basilica Landmark will kick-off this fundraising initiative, know as the Fund-A-Need, at the Landmark Spark—a special evening dedicated to keeping the flame alive for the beloved Basilica. The Landmark Spark event is reimagined this year to amp up the classic event to a night that ignites.
The Landmark Spark event chair, Karen Capiz, is especially passionate about improving the community space used to support our neighbors in need. Karen volunteers with one of the many outreach programs and believes, “Having a welcoming, clean, comfortable space is important to best serve everyone who comes through The Basilica’s doors.”
The Basilica Landmark Board of Directors invites the community to support our effort to refurbish the essential community space. It is important that the physical building reflect our message of welcome and hospitality to all.
Saturday, May 18, 2019
The Machine Shop
300 2nd St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
The signature fundraising event features creative cuisine, specialty cocktails, and fantastic giving opportunities to support The Basilica Landmark.
To purchase tickets or make a gift to support the Fund-A-Need initiative visit www.thebasilicalandmark.org.