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Archives: February 2022
All Mass recordings can be found at Mass Recordings
Wednesday, March 2 - Ash Wednesday
Thursday, March 3 - No recording due to internet outage
Join the Journey! “Bend your knees, mend your hearts, and lend your hands.”
The word "Lent" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word 'lencten' which is rooted in the Germanic word for lengthening. It was used to reference the season of Spring because it is the time when the days indeed become longer.
During Lent the days indeed become longer and more light is gained every day. By the time Easter comes around we will have 13 hours and 36 minutes of daylight. That is almost 5 hours more daylight than when we celebrated Christmas.
And as we gain more daylight it is our hope that we gain more spiritual light as well through the traditional Lenten disciplines of praying, fasting and almsgiving.
In a Lenten sermon preached a few years ago by Fr. Jerry Kurian, this Syriac Orthodox priest suggested a new approach to these traditional disciplines as he asks us to take the time during Lent to “bend our knees, mend our hearts, and lend our hands.” And he warns us that our Lenten practices are for naught if they do not change who we are and how we act.
Every week of Lent we will send out a simple communication with some suggestions for a fruitful observation of Lent looking at how we might bend our knees, mend our hearts, and lend our hands. But before we begin Lent we have some suggestions to ready ourselves.
Getting Ready for the Journey
In preparation of our Lenten Journey we suggest that you consider doing the following:
- Create Time for the Journey:
Sometimes we may wonder if we are still in charge of our own lives. Our calendars are filled with appointments and deadlines. In addition, there is the unrelenting barrage of e-mails and texts, while Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and other social media are vying for our time. The blessing of electronic communications has also become a challenge as the lines between worktime, time with family and friend, time to play and time to pray have been blurred.
Lent invites us to set boundaries and re-claim control over our own time and thus over our own life. So, before Lent begins, decide on how you might best create time for your Lenten Journey.
- Prepare a Space for the Journey:
We are keen to assign certain activities to certain rooms and we associate specific rooms with specific activities: we cook in the kitchen; we eat in the dining room; we relax in the living room; we sleep in the bedroom; etc. Each room connotes a specific activity.
When it comes to the primary space we use for prayer, The Basilica undoubtedly comes to mind. Yet, as we try to create more time for prayer and meditation during Lent it is good to set aside a space in our homes that is dedicated to prayer and that is accessible at any given time.
So, before Lent begins, dedicate a room or a corner in a room to be your prayer space. You might place your favorite cross there, or an image of a beloved saint, your bible and a candle as a focus for your prayer.
- Allow for Enough Spiritual Bandwidth for the Journey:
Silence is difficult to find these days. Even when we are by ourselves, our minds are filled to the brim with so many things, most of which are of little consequence. Some people call it mind-chatter, random thoughts that prevent us from having the bandwidth for profound thoughts.
So, before Lent begins let’s commit ourselves to the work of emptying our mind of the unnecessary chatter so we can create the necessary band-with for meditation and prayer. Turning off the mind-chatter is not an easy thing to do. It will take time and dedication as well as a good deal of intentionality.
During the Journey
- Be Patient with Yourself and Others during the Journey:
Lent is not an endurance test or 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. Therefore, pace yourself. Give yourself and others some space. And above all be forgiving.
After the Journey
- Carry you Lenten Experience with you after the Journey:
Lent is not a time for spiritual gymnastics which are abandoned as soon as the Easter Bells toll. Lent is a time of heightened “rehearsal” in what it means to be a Christian in our world today. So, as we engage in our Lenten practices let us be sure that they “change who we are and how we act.”
May this Lenten season of 2022 be a blessing to all of us.
All Mass recordings can be found at Mass Recordings
Monday, February 21 - No Mass recorded Presidents' Day
Friday, February 25 - Due to technical difficulties, the recording starts at the homily. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Afghan Family: Adjusting well to new colder climate
Come in! Come in! Come in! That was the greeting we received the first night we met the family that the Basilica is helping from Afghanistan. The young man that greeted us is in middle school and is part of the family of 10. He gestured for us to come up for green tea. The dad arrived a few minutes later having gone to a store to get nuts and fruit to welcome us. Our Circle of Welcome team from the Basilica and Lutheran Social Services were there to meet and greet the new family. The family left Kabul, Afghanistan in August. It was quite a struggle to get all of this large family on a plane to the US. They have eight children ranging in age from 11 months to 17 years old.
Over the past two months the Basilica has outfitted the family in winter gear, rugs, a vacuum and various other things. Our Circle of Welcome team has taken them on outings to Como Zoo, the Lake Harriet kite festival and sledding.
On one of our visits when we were bringing over a rug, we were once again greeted by the same gregarious young man that had greeted us the first night. He motioned for us to come in for green tea and showed us to their dining table. All of the children came around to greet us. As soon as we sat down a feast appeared before our eyes with mom dishing up very delicious food. Large flat bread, beef stew, saffron rice and chickpeas and two spoons appeared. Never having eaten food from Afghanistan we assumed we each had a spoon and we started eating only to realize later the bread was meant to be broken and the beef stew and everything else was to be spooned on top of the bread and then into our mouth and the spoons were serving spoons.
The family is doing very well. The dad is fluent in English and three other languages and the others are learning. The children are all in school. The dad just got a job and they all seem to be adjusting to this very new and different life especially living in this new colder climate.
When we volunteered to be part of the Circle of Welcome team we were delighted to help. Since then we have been humbled by the hospitality and friendliness of this Afghan family. Minnesota is so very blessed to have them.
Refugee Family News
News and updates on the families we are welcoming.
Before we embark on our Lenten journey this year, Ordinary Time gives us the opportunity to reflect on our lives and where we are called to serve. The Gospel this weekend tells us this: how we give is how we will receive. “Do to others as you would have them do to you. … Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and gifts will be given to you.” Luke 6:31, 37-38.
The Church calls us to serve those in need of spiritual, emotional, and physical nourishment. Catholic Social Teaching provides us with a basic moral test: how do we treat the most vulnerable among us. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first. Consequently, The Basilica of Saint Mary has identified homelessness, along with The Arts and Inclusivity, as one of our Strategic Areas of Focus. In undertaking this focus area, we are collaborating with other organizations to address the root causes of homelessness and reduce the prevalence of homelessness in our community.
The Homeless Jesus sculpture by Timothy Schmalz located on The Basilica Plaza reminds us both that we must serve the poor and homeless and that any of us could easily become one of those in need. During these difficult economic times, nearly 40% of people in the United States would experience significant financial hardship should their income be suddenly interrupted.
Like our community at large, The Basilica is also facing uncertain economic times. The Basilica’s year-to-date revenue is down and our expenses are up. While we are tightening our belts wherever we can, we still need your assistance. As members of The Basilica community, help us attend to the needs of the poor, and financially support our parish programs, ministries, and services. Consider a gift to the 2022 Basilica Fund whether you are participating in our community in person or through livestreaming masses and virtual programming.
If you plan to give to The Basilica regularly (weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually) in 2022, please let us know your plans. When you tell us how much you are committing to give, it allows us to budget more accurately for the year ahead. Electronic recurring gifts through your credit card or checking account mean less paper and lower administrative costs. Please give online at mary.org/give. If you have already made your 2022 gift commitment, THANK YOU!
7:00am, Noon*, 5:30pm*
Eucharist with the Distribution of Ashes
After a COVID-19 hiatus, we are pleased to offer two opportunities for fellowship, community, and soup on Ash Wednesday (March 2, 2022).
- Please join us after Mass, either at 1:00pm or 6:30pm in the Teresa of Calcutta Hall (lower level of the church).
- Pre-registration is appreciated for planning, and capacity is about 100 people to allow for some distancing.
- Guests are encouraged to wear a face mask other than when actively eating/drinking at their table.
- The event is free, but offerings are accepted. To register for either soup event, please click here.
Please also bring canned soup with you on Ash Wednesday to support our neighbors who utilize St. Olaf Church's Food Pantry in downtown Minneapolis. They especially appreciate hearty soups, chili, or stew, or any other shelf-stable canned items. Look for receptacles in church for your canned food donations.
All Mass recordings can be found at Mass Recordings