Archives: July 2020

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A Powerful Reflection

A few weeks ago Fr. Tim Backous, OSB, who helped out on weekends at The Basilica several years ago, sent me a copy of a talk on racism that Abbot John Klassen gave at a conference of the monks of St. John’s Abby. I have been trying to write something on this topic for a while now with little success. I was so impressed with Abbot John’s talk, though, that I asked his permission to share a portion of it via this newsletter. He willingly gave permission, but with the caveat that I be clear that one of the sources for his talk was Fr. Bryan Massingale. I told him I would be pleased to do that. Below then is a portion of the talk Abbot John gave to the monks of St. John’s Abby on July 7, 2020. While this talk was given specifically to the monks, I believe it has meaning for all of us. 

Father Bryan Massingale, a distinguished black faculty member at Fordham University, has written a powerful reflection on the challenge that faces the white community at this time. He makes some concrete suggestions for moving forward which serves as a template for the following reflections. 

First, we need to understand the difference between being uncomfortable and being threatened. There is no way to tell the truth about race in this country without white people becoming uncomfortable. Because the plain truth is that if it were up to people of color, racism would have been resolved, over and done, a long time ago. The only reason for racism's persistence is that white people continue to benefit from it, and we benefit from it, whether we know it or not. This truth makes my head and heart hurt. 

What to do next? At first, nothing. Sit in the discomfort this hard truth brings. It needs to be agonizing. Let it move me to tears, to anger, to guilt, to frustration, to embarrassment. For what? For my ignorance. For my lack of understanding of the underlying issues that black and Latino people face every day. On any given day, at any given hour, their right to be on this good earth can be challenged. Because only when a critical mass of white people are outraged, grieved and pained over the status quo — only when white people become upset enough to declare, "This cannot and will not be!" — only then will real change begin to become a possibility. 

Second, we need to admit our ignorance and do something about it. We need to understand that there is a lot about our history and about life that we're going to have to unlearn. And learn over. We have all been taught an incomplete version of America that masks our terrible racial history. As white Americans we do not have an accurate sense of the long tail of damage that slavery did to our nation. The impact of the Jim Crow laws that neutralized black efforts to become active citizens in our democracy. We probably know very little of the terror of lynching. For a 30-year period from 1885-1915, on average every third day a black person was brutally and savagely and publicly murdered by white mobs. At present, black and brown people experience law enforcement as the latest version of this reign of terror. 

Third, are there creative things we can do as a community that allow for learning on a deep existential level? Are there ways to invite our whole campus into this powerful moment and see it as a graced time for conversion toward Gospel justice and the inclusiveness of the reign of God? As a community we are profoundly related to alums and friends, so many of whom have been deeply moved by the events of the past five weeks. They look to us not so much for answers as for moral leadership, for the affirmation that our country needs to deliver on its promise of freedom to all of its citizens and to those who come to our doors. 

Fourth, we need to be aware of the expression of racist attitudes in members of our community. When we encounter these expressions, we may not be silent. If there was ever a time and a place for fraternal correction, this is surely it. Sometimes we may be too patient, too tolerant and dismiss a comment as insensitive or ignorant when in fact, it is just racist, and is extremely harmful in a community where we are working every day to be inclusive. 

Finally, we need to pray the psalms in fresh and imaginative way. The psalms are filled with lament, with the voices of men and women who are being crushed every day, people who have nowhere to turn. True, racism is a political issue and a social divide. But at its deepest level, racism is a sickness of the soul. It is a profound warping of the human spirit that enables human beings to create communities of callous indifference toward their darker sisters and brothers. As historian Paul Wachtel succinctly declares in his book Race in the Mind of America, The real meaning of race comes down largely to this: Is this someone I should care about?" Our Catholic and Benedictine monastic tradition have powerful responses to these questions and strong spiritual resources to support reflection and action. They also have the ethical foundation on which to stand. Let there be no question: this is an urgent time, a decisive moment, and we may not let it slip away.” 

 

18TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME 

AUGUST 2, 2020

 

https://container.parishesonline.com/bulletins/02/0207/20200802B.pdf

 

The Basilica is our spiritual home—a place of welcome. We want each person who enters The Basilica to feel safe. The Basilica will follow all state health and safety guidelines. You will see new practices and policies when you return. e policies will continue to change as we monitor the offcial guidelines.

 

 

 

Basilica Community,

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

As I mentioned last week, beginning this Sunday, The Basilica will be open for Sunday Mass at 11:30am. This Mass will be low key, with just an organ or piano and a cantor. Initially, we will limit the number of attendees at this Mass to 50, but hope to grow this number in the weeks ahead.

We will also continue to livestream our 9:30am Mass, with more robust music and singing ensembles. Unfortunately at this time the 9:30am Mass won’t be open to the public.

The same protocols and registration that we currently use for those attending daily Mass will apply to those who want to attend the 11:30am Mass. To help explain these protocols we have prepared a brief video which is available on our website.

If you wish to attend one of these daily Masses you will need to pre-register the day before. You can do this on our website beginning Saturday at 12:30pm. Registration will close when we reach 50 attendees, or at 8:00am on Sunday morning. If you do not have a computer, you can also call the parish office.

When you register, you will need to provide contact information, in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing.

When you arrive for Mass you will need to wear a face mask and be checked in by a member of our staff. The check-in point is the accessible doors on the East side of The Basilica, between The Basilica and Cowley Center. After being checked in you will then be shown to a seat. We ask that you continue to wear your facemask, and remain in that seat until the Mass has ended. Communion will be distributed after the Mass has ended.

While people have been very appreciative of our livestreaming efforts, I recognize that there is also a desire for people to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist. The Eucharist is central to our lives as Christians. And speaking personally, it will be wonderful to have people at Mass again. The Eucharist is a community event, and it will be nice to once again have a community with whom I could celebrate and share the Eucharist.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I realize that to some the protocols we have developed may seem excessive, 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 are over the age of 65, or if you have some health issues, or if you fall into a vulnerable category for some reason, I would encourage you not register to attend Mass at this time. If you would like further information about our protocols 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.

Additionally, in the event that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 traceable to The Basilica, we will need to reconsider the decision to open The Basilica for public worship. Also if there is a surge in cases of the coronavirus, we will follow any directives/restrictions from the city of Minneapolis or the State. I will alert as soon as possible, should either of these things occur.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Please know they are appreciated more than you know.

 

 

Gracious God, we celebrate you, our heavenly Father.
We thank you for being our provider and protector.
When sickness and disease threaten, you are our healer.
In times of distress and trouble, you are our deliverer.

Loving God, nurses, doctors and all on the frontlines, we lift them to you.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandmeic, we are all hurting
and don’t know what to do.
We pray that you will heal our hurting hearts, Lord, your creation renew;
We are depending on you God, we know you are faithful and true.

God of power and might, the whole world is at your command.
God of love and mercy, our lives are in your hands.
God of justice and truth bless your people, heal our lives and lands.
God of nations, languages, tribes and peoples and tongues,
Fulfill in us your divine purpose and perfect plans.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen.

Rev. Denise Smith-Lewis, Moravian Church, Antigua

News and Resources

Register for Mass

Weekly Newsletter

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Online vespers and prayer services

Make a Gift

Safely Celebrating Mass
Beginning Sunday, August 2, The Basilica will be open for public Mass at 11:30am. Initially, we will limit the number of attendees to 50.

We want each person who enters The Basilica to feel safe. The Basilica will follow all state health and safety guidelines. 

You will see new practices and policies when you return. The policies will continue to change as we monitor the official guidelines.

 

Pre-registration for Mass is required. 

 

Register button blue

 

 

We will continue to livestream Mass Monday - Friday at noon and Sunday at 9:30am 

Livestream or Facebook live at facebook.com/BasilicaMpls

 

 

 

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 riveting Homeless Jesus sculpture by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz and installed outdoors along Hennepin Avenue.

 

 

Homeless Jesus Summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homeless Jesus Dedication_schola
Photo provided by: 
Mae Desaire
Homeless Jesus dedication 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

Newsletter

https://container.parishesonline.com/bulletins/02/0207/20200726B.pdf

 

Includes:

Message from the Pastor

Liturgy

Learning 

Christian Life

Development

 

Core to the mission of The Basilica of Saint Mary is our parish commitment to respond to the needs of the vulnerable in our community. Our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry (SVDP) is a cornerstone of this response. In a two-fold approach, we seek to provide compassionate and effective assistance to those in need and to provide a way for parishioners to engage in service. At the heart of this work is a priority to build relationships and an absolute belief in the dignity of all.  

During these days of COVID-19 illness and unemployment, and unrest after the death of George Floyd, work of our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry is more important than ever. Yet, our work is more challenged than ever. The rhythms of daily life and the infrastructure of our community have shifted or disappeared. This is felt most urgently by those who are vulnerable. Our response requires new thinking and imagination—and steadfast commitment.

The work of Basilica St. Vincent de Paul provides a broad spectrum of care. It supports people who live in homeless encampments across the street from The Basilica. It supports people who are recent immigrants to Minnesota—working to establish their lives in our community. It supports parishioner families who lost their job during Stay-At-Home orders, and families in North Minneapolis who are struggling. Indeed, the need is great. 

As we weave our way through the impact of  COVID-19, SVdP provides basic care by ensuring our neighbors who are homeless have a bathroom available. While The Basilica is closed, we installed 2 portable toilets on 17th street for people to use. Using technology and creativity, Basilica SVdP volunteers continued in long-term relationships with students at Minneapolis College who experience homelessness or generational poverty. These students are persevering against great odds to make a change in their life. In May 2020, one student shared the impact of this mentoring relationship: “I am very grateful for having the mentoring program. It has been a rough year for me and my mentor helped me through it. This program is great for people who struggle like me.”

Our daily St. Vincent de Paul programs held in the Lower Level of the Church—programs that serve thousands of neighbors each year—have been suspended, due to COVID restrictions. However, through ingenuity, perseverance and compassion, we are finding ways for volunteers to connect with and assist people in the community with rent assistance through phone and email contact. We are working to bring back more services to the community utilizing technology—ways to provide assistance effectively, but not in-person.

Our immigrant support teams partner with families seeking asylum through a variety of on-line methods. The volunteers who provide meals to the hungry in our community continue with special safety protocols.

These are among many changes we are working through with our volunteers and our community partners. Our commitment to respond to those most in need has never been stronger. 

Look for a special collection to donate to Basilica St. Vincent de Paul in upcoming weeks. Consider supporting this important work. One hundred percent of your donation goes directly to people in need. To find ways to get involved, call my office at 612.317.3477.

 

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

Last week we opened The Basilica for weekday Mass at noon, and had the first public Mass at The Basilica since mid-March. Speaking for myself, it was absolutely wonderful to have people at Mass again. The Eucharist is a community event, and it was nice to once again have a community with whom I could celebrate and share the Eucharist.

If you wish to attend one of these daily Masses you will need to pre-register the day before. You can do this on our website beginning at 1:00pm the day before the Mass you want to attend. If you do not have a computer, you can also call the parish office.

When you register, you will need to provide contact information, in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing.

When you arrive for Mass you will need to wear a face mask and be checked in by a member of our staff. The check-in point are the accessible doors on the East side of The Basilica, between The Basilica and Cowley Center. After being checked in you will then be shown to a seat. We ask that you continue to wear your facemask, and remain in that seat until the Mass has ended. Communion will be distributed after the Mass has ended.

Last night, at a Zoom meeting with our parish leadership, we discussed opening The Basilica for a Sunday Mass. While people greatly appreciate our live-streaming efforts, we recognized that there is also a desire for people to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist. The Eucharist is central to our lives as Christians.

Given this, the decision was made that beginning Sunday, August 2, The Basilica will be open for one public Mass on Sunday at 11:30am. This Mass will be low key, with just an organ or piano and a cantor. Initially, we will limit the number of attendees at this Mass to 50, but hope to grow this number in the weeks ahead.

We will also continue to livestream our 9:30am Mass, with more robust music and singing ensembles. Unfortunately at this time the 9:30am Mass won’t be open to the public.

The same protocols and registration that we currently use for those attending daily Mass will apply to those who want to attend the 11:30 Mass. To help explain these protocols we have prepared a brief video which is available on our website.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I realize that to some these protocols may seem excessive, 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 are over the age of 65 or if you have some health issues, or if you fall into a vulnerable category for some reason, I would hope that you would not register to attend Mass at this time.

As I have also mentioned previously, if you would like further information about these protocols 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.

For those, who are not able to attend Mass, I want to reiterate that, going forward, we will continue to livestream daily Mass as well as our 9:30 Mass on Sunday and our various liturgies and services.

In the event that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 traceable to The Basilica, we will need to reconsider the decision to open The Basilica for public worship. Also if there is a surge in cases of the coronavirus, we will follow any directives/restrictions from the city of Minneapolis or the State. I will alert as soon as possible, should either of these things occur.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Please know they are appreciated more than you know.

 


Loving God, we come to you full of anxiety about what may happen in the coming days and weeks. Shower us with the peace Jesus promised to his disciples. In this time of uncertainty and epidemic, wake us up to the reminder that we are not alone.

Even as we are asked to keep our distance from others, help us to find ways to reach out to those who need our support. We pray especially for those whose incomes and livelihoods are threatened. We pray especially for the children who will miss meals; for those already isolated, lonely and scared; for those who can not be with a loved one; and for all caregivers.

Loving God, give them your peace, and through our efforts ensure they have what they need.

Sustain, strengthen and protect all of us. Bless us as we seek to offer compassionate care and to show courage in the face of risk.
Remind us, each time we wash our hands, that in our baptism you call us to let go of our fears and live in joy, peace, and hope.

Amen.

News and Resources

Register for Mass

Weekly Newsletter

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Online vespers and prayer services

Make a Gift

The Summer 2020 issue of BASILICA Magazine includes articles capturing this extraordinary time. 

The cover features Archbishop Bernard Hebda blessing the city of Minneapolis on Easter Sunday.
www.mary.org/magazinesummer2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside this issue

Extraordinary Times–Extraordinary Measures 

A Milestone in Our Basilica Journey

A Timeless Oratorio 

The Archdiocesan Synod Process

A 25 Year Partnership Faith into action with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Our Parish, Our Future

Staff Anniversary Reflections

Children’s Liturgy of the Word

Saint John XXIII Gallery

Focus for 2020 Securing the foundation for future generations

Civilize It Navigating political polarization as a community

 

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