Archives: September 2020

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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. In this week's installment, we explore this original painting of Saint Jerome, in honor of his feast day on September 30, by local artist Leo Winstead. Johan also describes different artistic influences and historical elements in the painting.


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It is poignant that in the middle of a deeply divided election season, amid a world-wide pandemic, and against the backdrop of nation-wide civil unrest fueled by racial inequity and oppressions, The Catholic Church celebrates The 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. 

On September 27, 2020, we are invited to stop and reflect deeply on the state of our lives and our community. Pope Francis offers a message: Like Jesus Christ, who was forced to flee, we are called to Welcome, Protect, Promote, and Integrate all those who are forced from their home. 

On January 2020, Pope Francis pointed to the tragedy of internally displaced people as one of the greatest challenges of our contemporary world: “Situations of conflict and humanitarian emergencies, aggravated by climate change, are increasing the numbers of displaced persons and affecting people already living in a state of dire poverty. Many of the countries experiencing these situations lack adequate structures for meeting the needs of the displaced” (January 9, 2020).

Today, in 2020, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees aims to inspire and encourage the people of God to embrace works of charity and justice in the area of immigrant resettlement and care. Pope Francis acknowledges that this humanitarian emergency, affecting millions of lives, has been “relegated to the bottom of national political agendas… But this is not a time for forgetfulness. The crisis we are facing should not make us forget the many other crises that bring suffering to so many people.”
Pope Francis calls us to respond to this pastoral challenge with the four verbs offered in the Message for this Day in 2018: we are called to welcome the migrant, protect them, promote their needs, and integrate them into our community. What a radical call this day! 

In 2020, Pope Francis adds another six pairs of verbs that deal with very practical actions and are linked together in a relationship of cause and effect. He challenges us to go deeper, living out our faith. 

Pope Francis urges:
You have to know in order to understand. 
It is necessary to be close in order to serve.
In order to be reconciled, we need to listen.
In order to grow, it is necessary to share. 
We need to be involved in order to promote. 
It is necessary to cooperate in order to build. 

Pope Francis states, “Displaced people offer us this opportunity to meet the Lord, ‘even though our eyes find it hard to recognize him: his clothing in tatters, his feet dirty, his face disfigured, his body wounded, his tongue unable to speak our language’” (Homily, February 15, 2019).

Let us see our God in our brothers and sisters most in need. Let us act, give, love, and vote in ways that respond to this challenge of love, understanding and compassionate engagement. 
Pope Francis gives us clear and concise direction on how to live a faith filled life. Now is the acceptable time!



Basilica Community,

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

As I have mentioned previously, at the present time, most of our activities, with the exception of the celebration of the sacraments, is being done virtually.

Although one of the activities that definitely is not taking place virtually, is the ongoing maintenance of our beautiful Basilica. A couple of weeks ago, we began some masonry restoration work on the west exterior wall of The Basilica above the doors near the Mary Garden.

This work is needed to seal the mortar and prevent further water damage. As part of this project, we will also install an additional 10-12 moisture monitors in the church interior, and evaluate next steps for moisture testing and work needed to continue to dry out the church interior.

Additionally, within the next month, we hope to install a Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization Unit in the Church. This unit will clean the air in The Basilica and the lower level of viruses (including SARS and COVID-19), as well as allergens and mold. This technology is already being used at places like the Mayo Clinic, local schools, and museums.

It will be a tremendous help in ensuring the safety and well being of all those who come to The Basilica. We are very blessed and fortunate that both of these projects are being paid for by The Basilica Landmark.

On another note, beginning this coming Sunday, September 27 we will resume our 4:30pm Mass on Sunday afternoon. As with our 11:30am Sunday Mass and our daily noon Mass, you will need to pre-register to attend this Mass. You can do this via our website or by calling the parish office. We ask people to pre-register so that we will have your contact information in the unlikely event that we need to do contact tracing.

On a related note, anticipating the cold weather, beginning October 12, we will be moving our check-in tables for liturgies to the ground level of The Basilica. This area is large enough so that people won’t have to wait in the cold to check-in. The doors for check-in will be the west ground level doors near the circle garden and flag pole. Again we will begin using this area for check-in beginning October 12.

Finally, we have also begun to consider resuming some activities on our campus on a case by case basis. Our standard will be ensuring the safety, security, and well being of the participants or attendees. When there are activities on our campus, we will use the same protocols we currently use to check people in for the celebration of daily and Sunday Mass, and weddings and funerals.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about anything that is happening at The Basilica, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

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


Dear Lord,
At this time of pandemic,
Let us foster respect and solidarity with others, especially those who are weak or poor.
Let us remain calm and ignore unsubstantiated rumors.
Let us take advantage of living together as a family.
Let us attend to moments of prayer.
Let us cultivate responsibility, patience and hope.

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Too often, when a loved one dies, families make the decision to cremate the bodies of those they love but then never properly bury or inter the cremains. Catholic Cemeteries will inter the cremated remains that people may have at home or stored somewhere for a nominal fee of $200 per urn/container at Resurrection chapel mausoleum in Mendota Heights, giving families a permanent place to memorialize their loved one. Archbishop Hebda will lead a committal service on October 24 that will be taped and available for viewing later. Anyone wishing to participate in this program must do so before October 2. For more information visit or call Sr. Fran Donnelly at 651.255.0537.



Wendy Cichanski Caduff
Coordinator of Caring Ministries


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