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Archives: October 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. In this week's installment, Johan is in our chapel dedicated to Saint Therese of Lisieux. Her life and writings inspire us all to be everyday saints, doing small things with great love. May we aspire to become members of the host of little saints, contributing to God's love and spreading God's love throughout our world.
What adjective would you choose to describe the curve balls 2020 has thrown us? Unexpected, topsy turvy, isolating, crazy, frustrating? (And probably some not fit to print) This list could go on and on.
In the face of these challenges, one unshakeable experience for me has been working with our team of staff at The Basilica. Their commitment to continue to offer opportunities for worship and ministry has never waivered. We may have changed, but we never stopped.
In March, we started with an iPhone camera to offer Mass virtually on FaceBook Live. That quickly evolved with a great camera crew from Qwickcast who made us feel like we were in The Basilica during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday, even as we watched from our living room sofas. Your generosity kept us going.
This summer a six camera system of our own was made possible by a Basilica Landmark donor. Since bringing this system online, over twenty Basilica staff members have been trained to use it. We’re still learning, but today livestreaming liturgies like Masses, weddings, funerals, baptisms, confirmations is a regular part of daily life at the parish. Former parishioners and friends from around the country are finding us online and joining these livestreamed liturgies.
We’ve been able to re-open for the public too—now offering two weekday Masses at 7:00am and Noon (also livestreamed), and Sunday Masses at 11:30am and 4:30pm (with 9:30am livestreamed), and Reconciliation at 9:00am Saturdays. To keep everyone safe in this world changed by COVID-19, new Mass protocols are in place and routine including pre-registration, limited numbers, sanitizing our hands, wearing masks and social distancing. Together, staff and volunteers are working to welcome people into The Basilica as safely as we can.
Coffee and sandwiches are still available daily for those who are hungry. Volunteers, book clubs and speaker series are all meeting virtually. Speakers offer perspectives from our faith in presentations and discussions on immigration, nationalism, citizenship, mental health, and more.
Employment Ministry Mentors are meeting with job seekers over Zoom. Mentors of Minneapolis College students who have experienced homelessness continue their work and offer their support. St. Vincent de Paul volunteers are doing outreach by phone. Faith Formation for children and teens is being offered virtually too, with families receiving a home prayer kit and supplies. Young Adult Bible Study and Pathways for those looking to build skills to stabilize their lives are active as well. The response to these offerings has been amazing and we are grateful.
Day to day ministries continue as volunteers share the gift of their faith in so many ways, albeit often virtually. These ministries and offerings can only continue to happen with your financial support. Will you commit to a recurring gift to The Basilica Fund in the coming year?
We need your help to empower our mission and our ministries. Consider what gift works for you weekly or monthly. Ideally, set this up electronically for automatic withdrawal. It’s easy, and if you need to, you can change this at any time. Giving electronically helps us plan, saves money and makes your contributions go even farther. We are grateful for your support in these challenging times.
I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these very challenging times.
I’d like to begin today by thanking all of those who have made a commitment of financial support to our Basilica Fund. Our annual fund provides 79% of The Basilica’s operating budget. Your contributions to the annual fund allow us to offer the many programs, services, and ministries that are at the heart of our Basilica community.
If you have already made a commitment of reoccurring financial support for our Basilica community, please know of my gratitude. I hope you will continue it and if possible increase it. Your commitment of financial support, no matter how small, or how large, enables us to continue to do those things that fulfill our vision here at The Basilica.
If you are not able to make an ongoing financial commitment, I ask you to give what you can, when you can. I thank you in advance for whatever financial support you can commit to. Please know whatever you are able to give will be appreciated.
If you are not able to make a financial commitment or even to contribute occasionally, I ask you to pray for our parish and for your fellow parishioners. Please know your prayers are both needed and deeply appreciated. If you are experiencing some financial difficulties, please contact our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry. We may be able to help you or refer you to someone who can.
In other news, as I hope you know, our 11:30am and 4:30pm Masses on Sunday are now open to the public. If you are not able to join us for one of these Masses, I invite you to join us via livestream for our 9:30am Mass. In addition to our 11:30am and 4:30pm Sunday Masses, our 7:00am and our Noon weekday Masses are also open to the public. We do ask that you pre-register for our Sunday Masses and our Noon Masses, but you can register for the 7:00am Mass at the door.
On a related note, anticipating the cold weather, this past Monday we moved our check-in tables for all of our liturgies, with the exception of the 7:00am daily Mass, to the ground level doors 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 southwest ground level doors near the circle garden and flag pole.
Also, as I have mentioned previously, it is our hope that within the next couple of weeks a Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization Unit will be installed 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 this project, along with the tuck pointing being done on the exterior of our Basilica, are being paid for by The Basilica Landmark.
Finally, 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.
Loving God, your light shines in our darkness and assures us that you are present with us and that your powerful grace transforms our fear into hope.
May we join with our Holy Father, Francis, in spreading a "contagion" of hope "from heart to heart."
Protect all your selfless servants who continue to serve the needs of the most vulnerable with their hands and heart.
Give our elected leaders wisdom of heart in decision-making that the common good of our human family may be achieved and the gift of each person's human dignity respected.
May the fire of your love burn within our hearts so that we may give witness to the mystery of your love among us and within us.
October 15, 29; November 5 & 12, 6:30-8:00pm
October 15, 8:30pm
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