Archives: January 2022

January 22nd marked the 49th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. Legalized as a private act, abortion remains a very public and divisive issue. I understand that as a celibate male, my concerns and questions in regard to abortion can be easily dismissed by those who advocate abortion. I hope, though, that those who espouse a pro-abortion position would be open to dialoguing about some of the issues surrounding abortion. Below are five for your consideration.  

1. In 1973 the Supreme Court ruled a woman’s choice to have an abortion outweighed the states concern for prenatal life-up until the point of viability, which in 1973 was deemed 28 weeks. Since that time, however, there have been significant advances in medical science.  Children have been born as young as 21 weeks of pregnancy. I believe we can’t ignore this fact. Why are we using outdated medical information regarding viability? This doesn’t make sense to me, and we need to talk about it. 

2. We need to continue to look for ways we can support women and men who are experiencing a problematic pregnancy and/or who are concerned about having the necessary resources to raise a child. As people who are pro-life, it is not enough for us simply to be opposed to abortion. We also need to be concerned about the issues of health care and nutrition for infants. We need to be concerned about paid parental leave, childhood education and food security. And we need to be concerned about safe housing for children and families. We need to talk with those who support the choice of abortion about how we, as individuals and as a society, can protect and enhance life not just in the womb, but after birth as well. 

3.  Many times when people who are pro-abortion talk about this issue, they use words like “safe” “legal” and “rare.” The use of the word “rare” has always concerned me. It suggests one of two things. Either people are using that word as a cynical concession to those who are opposed to abortion, or deep down they recognize that there is something improper and/or wrong about the procedure. In the case of the former, people who are pro-abortion need to fess up and acknowledge that they use the word “rare” as a verbal contrivance and not in any meaningful way. In the latter case, when they use the word “rare” they must realize that at root there is something wrong with the practice of abortion. In either case, we need to talk about it. 

4.  Likewise, polls continually indicate that people believe too many abortions are occurring. We need to talk with each other about how we can reduce the number of abortions. A woman should never feel that she must choose between her well-being and her unborn child’s life. We need to provide concrete, specific and practical services and programs to help women and men in problematic pregnancies. While our Church, and particularly our Archdiocese, have done much in this area, imagine how much more could be done if we worked with those who advocate a pro-abortion position. Let’s talk about this.

5.  We need to tone down the rhetoric and eliminate the inflammatory language that increasingly has been part of the discussion of the issue of abortion. I think those of us in the pro-life camp need to take the lead in doing this. It is too easy for people to dismiss our position on the basis of our often volatile language. We need to invite people into dialogue, to make our case and demonstrate the moral rightness of our position. In this regard, I believe we are far more apt to convince people than we are to coerce them. Using language that is simple, direct, non-inflammatory, and open to dialogue is a step in this direction.

The above are my suggestions as to how, on the 49th anniversary of Roe v Wade, we might proceed. I believe that if we are ever to come to a resolution in regard to the issue of abortion, this can only occur when we change the way, the manner, and the form in which we talk about this issue and seek new ways and means to engage each other in dialogue. As people committed to life, I think we need to be in the forefront of this activity. I believe that ultimately it is only in this way that we can help others come to understand the value, dignity and worth of every human life.

 

Pope calls for a day of prayer for peace over Ukraine situation

“I make a heartfelt appeal to all people of good will to raise prayers to Almighty God that all political actions and initiatives may be at the service of human brotherhood rather than partisan interests.”

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2022-01/pope-calls-day-of-prayer-for-peace-over-ukraine-situation.html

 

Happy new year! I pray that this new year is a healthy, safe and productive one for all of us.

As we begin 2022, I’m writing to ask your consideration of three New Year’s resolutions as a member of our Basilica community.

1. Share gratitude for each other. The last two years have presented significant challenges for all members of our community. This pandemic has required us to stretch ourselves when we are already stretched thin, to keep showing up even when the going is tough, and often to be apart from those we hold dear. Despite these challenges, the spirit of our parish remains strong: We have been able to gather for beautiful liturgies — and even more members of our community gained critical access to Mass via our new live-streaming program; We’ve come together for meaningful programs and events; provided support to those in need; advocated for change in our community; implemented a strategic plan….and so much more.

This sense of community has been so important during this time of separation. I am grateful for you, our Basilica community. In particular I want to express gratitude for The Basilica staff, and encourage you to do the same! They have made everything possible, and it is a testament to their resilience, dedication and adaptability. Please take a moment to thank a staff member when you see them at Mass, to drop a comment in the livestream chat, or to send a note of gratitude at mary.org/staff.

2. Protect those most vulnerable among us. The ever-shifting landscape of the pandemic requires us all to pitch in to protect those most vulnerable among us. Once again this requires us to mask up at Mass. When attending Basilica services or events in-person, please wear your mask not only to aid The Basilica in its compliance with public safety requirements, but also as an expression of care for those most vulnerable in our community. It is our mission to be a home of spiritual nourishment — and masking up helps all members of our community feel safe so they can come home to The Basilica.

3. Pledge your support. This January, I hope you’ll make a new year’s resolution to support The Basilica Fund with a monthly recurring donation. These donations sustain our mission, allow us to provide critical support to those in need, and maintain our wonderful professional staff who make our mission and vision come to life. Recurring donations are one of the most effective ways to support The Basilica because they are reliable, and during this tumultuous time, allow The Basilica to forecast with greater certainty. Because monthly recurring gifts continue indefinitely until you cancel, they are also one of the most reliable new year’s resolutions one could make! (I feel very confident my monthly recurring gift will outlast my new daily workout routine…)

Please take action now to support the community and work you care about. If you already support The Basilica with a recurring gift, please consider an increased monthly amount. Your support is vital, and gifts of all sizes make a difference! Join me in making this new year’s resolution by initiating your gift at mary.org/give before January 31.

 

Katelin Richter Davis
Chair, Parish Council
The Basilica of Saint Mary

 

 

 

Greetings once again from The Basilica of Saint Mary. I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times. 

Today I would like to talk with you about our response to the Omicron variant here at The Basilica. As I hope you know, the city of Minneapolis has again instituted a mask mandate. Given this, we people are once again required to “mask up” at The Basilica and in any of our campus buildings. 

We will have masks available at the entrances to The Basilica if you forget to bring one with you. We also have individual sanitizing packets available for those who would like one. And, as always, if you are not able, or don’t feel comfortable joining us in-person for any of our liturgies, we invite you join them via livestream. We livestream our 9:30am Mass on Sunday and our Noon Masses during the week.

Also given that the Omicron variant is so easily transmissible, we have temporarily gone back to virtual learning for our faith formation classes, and we are encouraging our staff to hold meetings via Zoom whenever possible. We are doing all these things in an abundance of caution and a desire to protect the safety and wellbeing of our parishioners. 

Now, it goes without saying we had hoped that at this point in the pandemic we would be back to more normal operations at The Basilica, but sadly this is not the case. We will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions that will protect the safety and well-being of all those who come to The Basilica. 

I’d like to shift gears now and talk about our Parish Finances. At the half-way point of our fiscal year, The Basilica’s year-to-date revenue is down five percent. While we are tightening our belts wherever we can, we still need your help. I’d like to ask for your financial support our parish and all its programs. 

I ask you to consider a gift to the 2022 Basilica Fund, whether you are participating in our community in person or through livestreaming masses and virtual programming. You can give online at mary.org/give.

It would be especially helpful if you could let us know if you will be able to give regularly (weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually). This information allows us to budget more accurately for the year ahead. Also, Electronic recurring gifts through your credit card or checking account mean less paper and lower administrative costs. Thank you in advance for your generosity. 

As I have mentioned previously, if you are experiencing financial difficulties, please contact our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry. We may be able to help you. 

I’d also like to invite you to join us for a presentation by Dr. Liz Lev on Sunday January 30 at 1:30pm in the lower level of The Basilica. Her presentation is entitled, Women Who Rocked Rome: Saints, Sinners Artists and Influencers in the Eternal City. Dr. Lev is a well know and engaging speaker, so this promises to be a great presentation. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns I invite you to contact me at the parish office. My contact information is available on our parish website. 

 

I’d like to close today with a prayer. 

Oh God, we are frightened, 
Worried for our loved ones,
Worried for our world.
We feel Vulnerable and confused,
And so we turn to You
Seeking comfort, faith and hope.

Teach us God, to turn our anxiety into patience,
And our fear into acts of kindness and support.
Help each one of us to do our part to halt the spread of this virus.

Send strength and courage to the doctors and nurses
In the frontlines of this battle,Fortify them with the full force of their healing powers.
Send wisdom and insight to the scientists
Working day and night across the world to discover healing treatments.
Bless their efforts, God.
Fill our leaders with the wisdom and the courage
To choose wisely and act quickly.
Help us, God, to see that we are one world,
One people, who will rise above this pandemic together.

Send us health God,
Watch over us,
Grace us with Your love,
Bless us with Your healing light.
Hear us God,

Amen.

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Occasionally or even often, when I am reading or listening to the radio or a podcast, I am intrigued or challenged; I learn something or perhaps question what I presumed I knew. The limit though is, I just listen, just take it in, through my own lens; sitting in my car, or listening on my walk; there is no follow up to it, no other perspectives than that of the speaker. If I am listening with someone else, I learn more, reflect more, remember more. If something really impresses or intrigues me; if I think something is consequential or perhaps wrong, sharing it, getting another perspective, really peeling it apart, helps me immensely.

This is also very true for my spiritual journey. I do need time in quiet prayer. And I need time in community. I have found there are so many resources available, so many gifted and intelligent people in our Basilica community, many on our staff. A few small groups have been meeting for years through book clubs, Bible study, Ministry groups, and prayer groups. It is though a relatively small number of people in a very large community.

Forced through the necessary practices employed during the Covid pandemic we have learned many things, among them, we need each other, we need community, we long for meaningful interaction.

 

Small faith communities are relational groups that gather regularly to pray, learn, reflect and share faith.

The Basilica is inviting more of us to give Small faith communities a try. We have already a growing library of topics and resources, based on interest more will be added. Here are a few to consider as we begin.

Reading the Gospels with the Church: From Christmas through Lent by Raymond E Brown

On Retreat with Henri Nouwen: Engaging Life’s Big Questions

Commonweal Conversation Starter Series Mental Health and Solidarity

Liturgy of the Ordinary: sacred practices in everyday life by Tish Harrison Warren

In This Together Film series, 5 films on Loving Our Way Forward” The Work of The People

 

Our Basilica small faith communities may meet in homes, on campus and/or remotely. We can set up demographic specific groups of neighbors, parents, retired persons, and random groups based on schedules. You may have an existing group or an idea of one, you may be ready to meet new people or both.   

In an Encyclical Letter, Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis speaks of Fraternity. “Fraternity between all men and women…here we have a splendid secret that shows us how to dream and to turn our life into a wonderful adventure. No one can face life in isolation… We need a community that supports and helps us, in which we can help one another to keep looking ahead. How important it is to dream together…By ourselves, we risk seeing mirages, things that are not there. Dreams on the other hand are built together.”  
 

For more information on joining, hosting, or facilitating a Small Faith Community, contact Cathy Edwards at cedwards@mary.org, or call the Learning Office at 612.317.3414.

 

Information Sessions

Please register

Sunday, January 23

Small Faith Communities: In-Person 10:45am

Small Faith Communities: ZOOM 1:00pm

 

 

 

Noon Masses: January 17-21

All Mass recordings can be found at Mass Recordings

 

Monday, January 17: Office closed; no livestreamed Mass

Tuesday, January 18

Wednesday, January 19

Thursday, January 20

Friday, January 21

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