Archives: June 2020

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. This week's installment features our icon of, commissioned by pastor Fr. John M. Bauer and made by Stillwater iconographer Deb Korluka.





Mary Untier of Knots














Learn more: BASILICA magazine Spring 2019

Mary, Untier of Knots 

New icon commissioned for the 150th anniversary 



JUNE 28, 2020


My mother was an equal opportunity disciplinarian. By this I mean that my mother dealt out discipline fairly, swiftly, and judiciously. One time when I was growing up, my mother took me and my older brother with her to run some errands. At one point during our errand running my older brother—probably more out of boredom than malice—gave me a shove. I responded by calling him a name. My mother responded by telling my older brother that if he pushed me again a spanking awaited him when we got home. She responded to me by telling me never to call someone a name, and that if I continued this practice, I could anticipate that my mouth would be washed out with a bar of soap. She then told both of us that there would be no dessert for either of us that night. With my mother discipline was swift, sure, and just. I learned a valuable lesson that day many years ago. You don’t call people names. 

This memory came back to me recently as I was thinking about all that has gone on and continues to go on in our city with the death of George Floyd, as well as all that is going on in our country and our world with COVID-19. It is clear that given the current situation, “stressful” doesn’t begin to describe the upheaval in our community and our world, as well as the turmoil in our individual lives at this time. Unfortunately, contributing to this uproar and turmoil are some—particularly some in leadership positions who should know better—who are resorting to finger pointing and name calling. 

We need to be honest and clear. Name calling and finger pointing are never appropriate. And we need to call each other—and especially our leaders—to accountability when we/they do this. In a speech in October of 2017 former President George W. Bush alluded to this issue when he said: “We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions—forgetting the image of God we should see in each other." 

We are all created in God’s image and likeness. We are all beloved sons and daughters of God. When we fail to remember this, when we point fingers and call names, we are failing to see the image of God in one another. I just wish my mother were alive to give those who do this a good talking to, and threaten to wash out their mouths with soap if they continue this practice. Alternatively, though, perhaps if God sent us all to bed without dessert for a few nights, perhaps we might remember and take seriously the most basic fact of our existence: we are all beloved children of God. 



Basilica Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times.

As I mentioned last week, our parish leadership has approved The Basilica’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. This plan has been posted to our website if you would like to read it. This plan will continue to be reviewed and adjusted as new information becomes available as the pandemic evolves.

I am grateful to Terri Ashmore, our Managing Director, our Staff Directors, Tom Paul and Kathy Noecker our Parish Trustees, and Dr. Deirdre Palmer, The Basilica Landmark’s representative to our Parish Council, for the time and effort they put into this document. Their work is a blessing for our parish. Additionally, our parish leadership approved a proposal to gradually reopen The Basilica for public worship.

When we reopen The Basilica for public worship, however, we will continue to livestream our various liturgies and services. The equipment we needed to livestream has arrived and will be installed within the next week or so. Once the equipment is installed, our staff will be trained to operate it.

Once this has happened, we will start to open The Basilica for daily Mass at Noon. We anticipate this will take place in mid-July. Within the next couple of weeks, I will give a progress report to our parish leadership in regard to how this is working.

Hopefully at that time, we can determine a timeline for reopening The Basilica on a limited basis for weekend Masses. Once we have reopened The Basilica for Sunday Mass, on one Sunday a month we will also celebrate the sacrament of baptism for infants, and the Sacrament of Confirmation for those adults who were a part of our R.C.I.A. program this past year. Later this summer we will also discuss how to celebrate First Communion and Confirmation with our elementary and high school students.

I realize these decisions may disappoint some, but in an abundance of caution and with a concern for the common good, as your pastor, I am convinced that at this time, this is the best way to proceed.

If you would like further information about this plan, or if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

Finally, since next week leads into the 4th of July weekend, we won’t have our usual coffee and conversation on Wednesday morning. I also won’t be posting a message next week. Coffee and Conversation and a new message will be back the week of July 5th.


Almighty and eternal God,
our refuge in every danger,
to whom we turn in our distress;
in faith we pray
look with compassion on the afflicted,
grant eternal rest to the dead, comfort to mourners,
healing to the sick, peace to the dying,
strength to healthcare workers, wisdom to our leaders
and the courage to reach out to all in love,
so that together we may give glory to your holy name.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

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Art That Surrounds Us: Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. This week's installment features our icon of Saint Dymphna, commissioned by our Mental Health Ministry and made by Stillwater iconographer Deb Korluka.



Saint Dymphna Icon

















COVID-19 Preparedness Plan 

Executive Order 20-40, issued by Gov. Tim Walz on April 23, 2020, requires each business in operation during the peacetime emergency establish a “COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.”

The Basilica of Saint Mary’s COVID 19 Preparedness Plan documents policies, practices and conditions to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines for COVID-19 and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards related to worker exposure to COVID-19.