Archives: February 2021

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, Johan discusses the Biblical and historic roots of Stations of the Cross, and their connection to the salvific Passion of Jesus.

We are very blessed to have several sets of Stations of the Cross at The Basilica: the original stations that were carved in Italy and installed in 1926, Scriptural stations by Lucinda Naylor and Steven Anderson, which were commissioned by The Basilica of Saint Mary to mark the second Millennium of Christianity in the year 2000, and a set of traditional stations by Leo Winstead in our Saint Joseph Chapel.

Please join us on the Fridays of Lent for the celebration of the Stations of the Cross at 5:30pm (central time), either join us in person or via livestream. This year we will be praying a different version of the Stations each Friday and will meditate on different art.




Stations of the Cross

Basilica in winter

Our Community Looks Ahead

As this new year begins, I find myself spending more time than usual in both reflection and planning. Looking back, I am in awe of all the unexpected challenges we have navigated as a community. Together, we have developed our ability to adjust, adapt and pivot the ways we serve and support one another. Looking ahead, I am hopeful and cautiously optimistic that vaccines will provide us a gradual return to some normalcy. We are busy preparing for more in-person opportunities as the promise of a brighter future is just around the corner.

Given the challenges of 2020, we are profoundly grateful for your ongoing financial support of The Basilica Fund which provides for 79% of our annual operating budget. Your faithful generosity empowers our mission, allowing us to minister to our parish and broader community. We thank you for the contributions you have provided this far and ask you to prayerfully consider continuing your support in 2021. 

If you have not done so already, we encourage you to make a recurring gift commitment to The Basilica Fund. You can give anytime online at or by texting “GIVE” to 612.249.7559. Taking the time to inform us of your giving plans offers the parish the most financial stability and allows us to make informed budget decisions throughout the year. 

The Basilica Landmark is also grateful for your ongoing financial support that helps provide for the preservation and restoration of our historic buildings and campus. Because of your generosity, we were able to complete several projects in 2020.  A few of these include the masonry restoration on the west façade of the Church, necessary maintenance on our treasured organ and the installation of air purification systems that remove air borne viruses and bacteria from the Church, Theresa of Calcutta Hall and choir rooms. You can make a gift to The Basilica Landmark at

Our traditional events had to be cancelled last year, but I am delighted to share that our annual Landmark Spark gala will be held virtually on Saturday, May 15.  For the first time ever, we will be livestreaming the event straight into your home. You will be able to participate in an online auction and support our 2021 Fund-THE-Need which will benefit all areas and projects that preserve, restore and advance The Basilica. Please plan to join us and share the opportunity with your friends and family.  You can learn more about this special evening at

We hope to hold more in-person events as the year unfolds and things start to reopen more fully. We will be eager to share those opportunities with you later in the year as our planning continues.  It will be so wonderful to find ourselves reunited again.

While the past year has kept us physically distant, it has provided powerful reminders of how interconnected we truly are. On behalf of all of us at The Basilica, I want to offer each of you our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support and commitment to The Basilica of Saint Mary and The Basilica Landmark.


Anne Kane
Director of Development
The Basilica of Saint Mary



Lenten Journey: Week 1

Lenten Journey


Week 1

Fasting, Praying, and Charity during the First Week of Lent
The ultimate goal of the Season of Lent is a conversion of heart or a turning away from our sinful ways in order to embrace the Gospel. One of the phrases used during the imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday is this: Repent, and believe in the Gospel. This is a very direct and clear statement. This is what we are called to do during Lent.
Each Friday of Lent we will offer you one attainable suggestion for the three Lenten disciplines of fasting, prayer and charity. You might look at these as cumulative as we journey through the season. For this First Week of Lent we invite you to: fast from noise; engage in Centering Prayer; and be a Simon of Cyrene to others.
Fasting from Noise
  • Our world is filled with constant noise. As individuals and as a society we have become estranged from silence. And yet it was not in the loud thunder but rather in the silent breeze that God was revealed. 
  • This Lent we might do well to make time for silence in an intentional and prayerful way. 
  • The kind of silence we pursue is not simply the absence of noise or a suspension of speech. We seek the kind of stillness where the Word of God is revealed, the voice of God is recognized and the love of God is experienced.
Centering Prayer
  • This type of Contemplative Prayer is a perfect companion to our attempt to fast from noise. Centering Prayer is the prayer of silence. In this deep silence, reaching beyond thoughts, words and emotions we open our mind, heart and soul to God.
  • For more information on Centering Prayer we invite you to visit:

Charity: Being a Simon of Cyrene for someone

  • A simple and silent way to train ourselves in acts of kindness is through the exercise of being a Simon of Cyrene. Like Simon helped to buttress Jesus’ cross we are asked to help others. 
  • Put the names of your family and/or friends into a bag. Each Sunday in Lent draw a name and keep it a secret. Try to do something kind for that person during the week without letting them know who did it. At the end of the week, you might try to guess who your “Simon of Cyrene” was.   
Throughout Lent please remember to be patient with yourself and others.  Lent is neither an endurance test nor a time to prove our Christian stamina. Rather, Lent is a time to slow down and ponder what is essential to our faith and thus to our life as Christians. So please pace yourselves. Give yourself and others the necessary space. And above all be forgiving.



The Catholic Services Appeal Foundation of the Saint Paul and Minneapolis Area provides funding to the 20 collective ministries that no one parish can support on its own. All gifts are restricted gifts to the Designated Ministries. Please join us in supporting those most in need. There are many ways to give to help others.

Catholic Services Appeal Foundation













Lent banners

Noon Mass

Lent banners

Preparing for Lent

The Season of Lent

Prepare for a fruitful celebration of the Season of Lent.



Lent Schedule: Join us online or in-person during the Season of Lent.

Pray the Stations of the Cross: these stations were commissioned by The Basilica from local artist Lucinda Naylor to mark the second millennium of Christianity. The Meditations were inspired by the art.

Lectio Divina: Lectio Divina invites us into scripture, meditation, prayer, contemplation and action.

Pray the Rosary together either in person or virtually: we have made a virtual Rosary available on our website. 



Visit the online Lent and Easter Art Collection


40 Days of Lent

Week 1

Lent is an Invitation by Johan van Parys, Ph.D.