Archives: October 2020


Annaul Report 2020 cover

Annually, we create a report to review the life of our parish as well as look ahead to the coming year. Reflecting on the past fiscal year has been a challenging and very interesting task.

Our fiscal year, which concluded on June 30, 2020, started on one trajectory and has evolved and changed as we have lived through a global pandemic and unrest in our city. We have continued to live our mission and values at The Basilica, and we have revised our programs and ministries to continue to meet the needs of our community.

This year, more than ever, we have learned the importance of our Basilica community. During these challenging times, while we have livestreamed the celebration of the Eucharist, we have missed gathering as a community to celebrate the Eucharist together.

The pandemic has been frightening and stressful in countless ways. In the midst of the uncertainty and confusion caused by the pandemic we have looked to our faith for comfort and guidance. And we have learned to welcome people virtually to our Basilica community. 

We began livestreaming Mass in March and have continued to build our livestream tools and platforms over the past six months. Our staff has transitioned to new roles and adapted how we provide our ministries. 

As we look ahead to the future, we continue to make contingency plans—not knowing what the future will bring, but looking ahead with faith and hope, and knowing that we will support each other. 

Please remember, no matter what brings you to The Basilica, virtually or in-person, and wherever you are in your faith journey, you are welcome here. 

Rev. John M. Bauer
Pastor, The Basilica of Saint Mary


Full report


Video preview


Cover photo: Virtual Choir Children of Light
Recorded August 10, 2020
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children
of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.
Ephesians 5: 8-9

Featuring the Cathedral Choristers of The Basilica of Saint Mary under the
direction of Teri Larson.
Children of Light (24-96850), Music by Valerie Ann Webdell 



Full report_highres



Liturgy Department p. 4
Learning Department p. 6
Christian Life Department p. 8
Development Department p. 10
It has always been a mystery to me why some priests and bishops seem to find it necessary to make public statements or make public appearances that align themselves with—or worse—seem to endorse a particular political party or a specific candidate. As leaders in the Church our role is to advocate for Catholic values and principles, not to endorse particular parties or candidates. Unfortunately, when you listen to some clerics, it almost seems as if the Catholic Church is a wholly owned subsidiary of one major political party or the other. 
As a Church we articulate and teach moral rights and principles. We then apply these moral principles to specific issues and situations. It is not an exact science, but it does help people to discern, and inform their consciences as they decide which candidate(s) to support. Unfortunately, because we apply our moral teachings to a wide array of issues, Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. How do we make these difficult choices? 
In their 2007 statement: “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” the bishops of the United States put it this way: “A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism if the voters intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity” (Faithful Citizenship #34).
In a later version of Faithful Citizenship, the bishops highlight eleven acts that they say are intrinsically immoral: (1) abortion, (2) euthanasia, (3) human cloning, (4) embryonic stem cell research, (5) genocide, (6) torture, (7) wartime targeting of non-combatants, (8) racism, (9) treating workers as mere ends (e,g. subjecting them to subhuman living conditions), (10) treating the poor as disposable, and (11) same-sex marriage. Numerous voters’ guides put out by various Catholic groups tend to emphasize certain priorities from this list. In point of fact, though, “All the life issues are connected, for erosion of respect for the life of any individual or group in society necessarily diminishes respect for all life. The moral imperative to respond to the needs of our neighbor—basic needs such as food, shelter, health care, education, and meaningful work—is universally binding on our consciences and may be legitimately fulfilled by a variety of means” (Faithful Citizenship #25).
Clearly neither of the major political parties or candidates supports all the moral positions of the Catholic Church in regard to a consistent ethic of life. There is no “perfect fit” for Catholics in regard to a political party or candidate. “There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position, even on policies promoting an intrinsically evil act, may reasonably decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons” (Faithful Citizenship #35).
So where does this leave us? Well, I would suggest four things. 
First, everyone, and perhaps most especially Catholics in leadership positions, needs to tone down their rhetoric and turn up their Christian charity. If we are to convince people of the rightness of our beliefs, increasing the volume and invective of our words is not the answer. If our words and actions don’t come from a place of love and respect, it will soon be obvious that treating people, particularly those with whom we disagree, with dignity, decency, and respect is not an essential part of our Christian beliefs. I think Jesus would weep at this. 
Second, everyone, and perhaps most especially Catholics in leadership positions, need to stop judging others. In this regard, in a recent homily Cardinal Blasé Cupich of Chicago said: “There should never be a time or a moment in which we judge others and their faith journey and say that a person is not Christian enough or Catholic enough.”  Jesus was clear about not judging others. I think we need to take his words seriously.
Third, Catholics need to form their consciences. In regard to conscience The Second Vatican Council was clear: “Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, tells him inwardly at the right moment: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. His dignity lies in observing this law, and by it he will be judged” (Pastoral Constitution on The Church in the Modern World #16).
Our conscience, however, is more than just what one thinks or feels at a particular moment. Our conscience must be formed. In 2017, Pope Francis speaking in a video message to a conference organized by Italian bishops on his 2016 document on family life, “Amoris Laetitia,” said “The contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which must always be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of an individual with respect to his or her relations,” Pope Francis also said, though: “priests must inform Catholic consciences but not replace them.” 
How does one form a conscience? We do it through prayerful discernment, dialogue with others, study of our Church’s teachings, spending time in reflection, and by being open to God’s grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 
Fourth, and most importantly, everyone—and perhaps most especially Catholics in leadership positions, needs to pray—and pray long and hard. I am fond of saying that in my own life I have found that prayer changes things, and the thing that it changes the most is me. When we pray and are open to God’s grace, we can’t help but be kinder, more charitable, more accepting, more respectful, and especially more loving. 
When we inform our consciences, pray, and ask for the guidance of God’s Spirit—and if we are open to that Spirit—I believe we will make wise and good choices when we go to the polls. 
Rev. John M. Bauer
Pastor, The Basilica of Saint Mary

Who is my neighbor?

This Sunday’s Gospel reminds us of the two most important commandments which summarize Jesus’ teachings: love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor like yourself. 
Most of us embrace this, at least to a point. The important question is, who do we believe to be our neighbor? Sure, it is easy to love those we interact with on a daily basis and those we are comfortable with. It is, however, clear that Jesus does not want us to stop there, neither does the Church. 
Today’s first reading from the Book of Exodus clarifies who our neighbor is. Our neighbor is the foreigner, the widow, the orphan, the poor person. This reading also makes it quite clear how God feels about failure to do so. God’s punishment for those who oppress a stranger, wrong a widow or orphan, or extort a poor neighbor is quite simple: “I will kill you with the sword.” Even if we do not take this literally, the message is clear: this kind of behavior is unacceptable to God.
The biggest temptation and greatest danger to Christianity is the ease with which we water down its meaning and white-wash its message. History clearly teaches how this has led to the abuse and high jacking of Christianity by outside interests. History also confirms how Christians at times have been manipulated to support ideologies that are paradoxical to Christianity. 
A very poignant example is the Holocaust. The holocaust is the antithesis of the first and second commandment. The Holocaust was able to happen because people were made to believe that Jews, Roma, people with disabilities, and homosexuals are not our neighbor. This very thought still supports the discrimination of these and many other people, even today. 
Another horrific example is the justification and support of slavery by Christians which led to unconscionable atrocities in this and many other countries. The erroneous and evil thought that allowed slavery to exist is still reverberating in the deeply rooted sin of racism that rears it ugly head over and over again in our society and in our institutions. 
If we are indeed followers of Christ we are to love ALL people as our neighbors and we are to love them as ourselves. That is exactly what Christ asks us to do. 
Our mission as Christians is to protect and support unborn children, but also those children who have been born. Our mission is to make sure all children have access to education. Our mission is to make sure everyone has housing, clothing, food. Our mission is to eradicate all discrimination and to work for justice and equality for all regardless of race, gender, creed or way of life. Our mission is to welcome the stranger rather than to put them in cages or to build walls to keep them out. Our mission is to provide healthcare for everyone especially those suffering due to COVID 19 during this current pandemic. Our mission is to make sure that our planet is safe from human exploitation and destruction and is preserved for future generations. Our mission is to end and prevent wars. Our mission is to abolish the death penalty. 
In sum, our mission as Christians is to love our neighbor; every neighbor; all neighbors, without exception, no matter how different they are from us, for it is what God commands us to do, no more, no less. That is true Christianity.




Basilica Community,

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

Today I am happy to report that Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization Units has been installed in the church and the Saint Cecilia room. These units will purify the air in The Basilica.

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.

Additionally, we have another couple of weeks to go on the tuck-pointing on the exterior western wall of The Basilica. This work was interrupted by the recent snow and cold weather, but we hope to resume it within the next week to 10 days. We are very blessed and fortunate that both of these projects are being paid for by The Basilica Landmark.

I also want to thank all of those who have made a commitment of financial support to our Basilica Annual Fund. 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 both needed and are 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.

Finally, I would like to invite you to join us for either our 11:30am or our 4:30pm Masses on Sunday. If you are not able to join us for one of these Masses I invite you to join us via livestream our 9:30am Mass. Also as I have mentioned previously, In addition to our 11:30am and 4:30pm Sunday Masses, our 7:00am and our Noon daily Masses are also open to the public.

We do ask that you pre-register for our Sunday Masses and our Noon daily Mass, but you can register for the 7:00am Mass at the door. You can register online or by calling the parish office.

The check-in tables for all of our liturgies, with the exception of the 7:00am daily Mass, are located inside the ground level doors on the southwest side of The Basilica, near the circle drive and the flagpole. This area is large enough so that people won’t have to wait in the cold to check-in.

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.



God of all hope we call on you today, and 

We pray for those who are living in fear:

Fear of illness, fear for loved ones, fear of other’s reactions to them.

May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace.

We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty:

For those people who are worried about attending worship.

For those forced to make decisions in order to care for other

For those who will feel isolated.

Grant us your wisdom.

Holy God, we remember that you have promised that

Nothing will separate us from your love – demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ.

Help us turn our eyes, hearts and minds to you.



Upcoming Events

October 28, 9:00am

Join our parish online gathering. An opportunity to talk about different aspects of our parish life with Fr. Bauer.

Evening Prayer for All Souls

November 1, 3:00pm

The names of all those who have died within the last year will be mentioned during the Litany of the Saints. Please submit names to be listed by October 27.


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Come together in prayer for the election. 

It is always important for people of faith to vote. As Christians, we are called to participate in public life and to contribute to the common good.

“We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every Life.”
Pope Francis – On the Death of George Floyd, June 3, 2020

As we approach Election Day 2020, it is most important for us to make this journey in prayer. We know that the elections are very important for the future of our country so we invite you to join us in asking God for guidance as we journey toward November 3.
Please join us for a Novena of prayer before the Elections and an Octave of prayer following the elections.
  • A Novena from the Latin novem meaning nine, is a series of nine prayers over the course of nine consecutive days or week. It can be a time of preparation for the celebration of the feast of a saint. It can also lead up to an important event or be occasioned by a grave need.
  • An Octave, from the Latin octo meaning eight is a series of eight days of prayers either preceding or following an important celebration such as Christmas or Easter. 
The results of the election will give some cause for celebrations, others will perhaps struggle.  We invite you to join us in asking God that we may overcome our difference and together build the kind of world God has in mind for us. Let us, together, create a revolution of love and tenderness. 
“Each of us by virtue of our baptism, is called to be an active presence in society, inspiring it with the Gospel and with the lifeblood of the Holy Spirit.” 
Pope Francis – Angelus on October 18, 2020
If you would like to receive an email reminder each day starting October 25, please sign up here

Day One
A Prayer for Justice and Peace 
St. Martin de Porres, Advocate for Justice and Peace, Pray for Us!

Day Two
A Prayer for Unity and Harmony
St. Francis, Promotor of Harmony and Peace, Pray for Us!

Day Three
For the Preservation and Protection of Our World 
St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Guardian of the Land, Pray for Us!

Day Four
For all children in our world
St. Joseph, Foster Father of Jesus, Pray for Us!

Day Five
For immigrants, migrants and asylum seekers 
(St. Frances Cabrini)

Day Six
For those who suffer due to COVID19 or any other illness 
(St. Teresa of Calcutta)

Day Seven
For those who are unemployed and under-employed 
(St. Cajetan)

Day Eight
For all candidates for elected office 
St. Thomas More, patron saint of politicians, pray for us.

Day Nine
For all people in our nation 
Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, pray for us.

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.

















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Noon Mass

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Noon Mass