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Archives: June 2022
Many years ago, Sister Peter, the nun who taught me in first grade at St. Stephen’s School in Anoka, MN, learned that I had been ordained a priest. For several years thereafter until her death, I would receive a Christmas card from her every year. Of course, she was a teacher until the end. I say this because each card contained a short story or a prayer with the important words underlined. The short story below was one of my favorites. It reminded me of how blessed I am and have been. I hope it does the same for you.
Everything is Relative
They huddled inside the storm door—two children in old coats.
“Got any aluminum cans, Lady?”
I was very busy. I wanted to say no, until I looked at their feet. Thin little shoes, sopped with sleet. “Come in and sit by the fire, and I’ll make you a cup of cocoa.” There was no conversation. Their soggy shoes left marks on the clean hearthstone.
Cocoa and cake would fortify them against the chill outside. After serving them, I went back to the kitchen and started on my household budget, as they sat enjoying the warmth.
After a few minutes, the silence in the front room struck through to me. I looked in. The girl held her empty cup in her hands, looking at it. The boy asked in a flat voice: “Lady, are you rich?”
“Am I rich: Mercy no.” I looked at my shabby slipcovers.
The girl put her cup back in its saucer carefully. “Your cups match your saucers.” Her voice was old with a hunger that was not of the stomach.
They left then, holding their small sack of cans. They hadn’t said thank you. They didn’t have to. They had done more that that. Plain blue pottery cups and saucers—but they matched. I tested the potatoes and stirred the gravy. Potatoes and brown gravy, a roof over my head, my husband with a good steady job—these things matched too.
I moved the chairs back from the fire and tided the living room. The muddy prints of small shoes were still on the hearth. I let them be.
I want them there in case I forget how rich I am.
At the end of the story Sister Peter had appended the following words: “Perhaps we are all a little better off than we think we are. It doesn’t hurt to want something more, but it is just as important to appreciate what we have and recognize how very rich and how very blessed we are.”
Thanks for being the Light of Christ and an occasion of God’s grace for me these past fifteen years. For this I have been blessed. Because of it, I am truly rich.
Greetings once again from The Basilica of Saint Mary. I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to do well.
Today, I would like to talk about three things with you. First, I wanted to mention once again that as we re-open and renew our various ministries, services, and programs here at The Basilica, we are in need of volunteers to help us with this.
In our weekly newsletter/worship aid we have created a space listing the various areas where we need volunteers. This list is also available on our parish website. If it has been a while since you have volunteered, or if you are looking for a way to get involved, please check out these various volunteer positions.
Second, as always, I want to thank you for your ongoing financial support of our Basilica community. Your financial support, especially during the past couple of years has been especially important. Please know of my gratitude for your past support and for whatever financial support you are able to offer in the future.
Finally, I wanted to thank you for your support and care these past 15 years. I have been blessed in ways too numerous to count these past 15 years. Thank you for being a part of these blessings.
In addition to the blessings I have enjoyed, I will also take with me many fond memories of my time here. Please know of my great gratitude for the blessings and memories I will take with me.
As we continue the transition to a new pastor, I want to let you know of my ongoing prayers for our community. The Basilica is indeed a very special place--made so by our parishioners and staff.
As always, I would like to close today with a prayer.
Lord God, help us never forget all that you have done and continue to do for us.
Strengthen and sustain us with the hope you offer us and with the countless blessings you have given us.
Help us to strive to recognize your presence in our lives and to be open to your grace.
Through the witness of our lives, may your love be made known and experienced by those we encounter, those we serve, and those we love.
We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
News and Resources
Ukrainian Families in Need of Housing
In partnership with St. Constantine Church, The Basilica is seeking housing for families coming from the Ukraine.
St. Constantine parishioners are prepared to sponsor families from Ukraine to Minnesota. The families are ready and paperwork is complete, but they can’t come unless they have housing.
The Basilica is partnering with St. Constantine to support their parishioners, as they sponsor families. We hope to identify possible housing options for the families.
Right now there is a family of 5 waiting to come.
All Mass recordings can be found at Mass Recordings.
Monday, June 20
Our offices were closed in observation of Juneteenth; no noon Mass.
Second Archdiocesan Synod
Synod Parish Delegates
Change is an inevitable part of life. Some people dread change while others relish it. Both The Basilica and The Basilica Landmark are facing many changes, navigating transitions from the old to the new.
Over the past two years, the pandemic has presented The Basilica with one of our biggest challenges. Pivoting to livestreaming services and virtual programming required thinking outside the box and an all-hands-on deck approach. Likewise, The Basilica and The Basilica Landmark events have gone through a number of transitions. The Basilica Block Party was cancelled in 2020, as was the Landmark Spark gala. 2021 shifted the Block Party to September and Spark to a virtual format. Last year also brought the 25th and final Basilica Ascension Golf Tournament. 2022 has produced even more change: hiatus and reimaging of the Block Party and back to an in-person celebration of Landmark Spark.
Staff and volunteer departures and arrivals have prompted shifting relationships and job responsibilities. Mara Stolee Cable knows all about change. She leaves the Parish Council after four years of service as the Development Representative. Mara has gone through many transitions at The Basilica. She joined The Basilica Young Adult group after college, participated in Bible Study and volunteered with Christian Life outreach but was unsure how to transition from being a Basilica “young adult” to being a Basilica “adult.” Serving on the parish council was a big step, but Mara says she has always tried to discern what steps God is calling her to take. God is now calling Mara to move to Boston to pursue a PhD program.
Meade Arseniadis, while not new to The Basilica, is a most recent addition to The Basilica Landmark Board. Meade witnessed her mother’s and friend’s involvement in The Basilica community, in particular the golf tournament. This motivated her to become involved. She would like to pass down that passion for what The Basilica stands for to her own children. She is excited to be part of The Basilica Landmark Board with all its knowledge and passion. “There is a lot of transition in the works for both The Basilica and The Basilica Landmark. We can create a new story with a lot of strategic direction behind it.”
Of course, one of the biggest changes we all face is Fr. John Bauer’s departure for Our Lady of Lourdes, after fifteen years as pastor of The Basilica and Fr. Daniel Griffith’s installation as our new pastor. Mara is happy for Fr. Bauer and pleased with how much confidence he has that Fr. Daniel will carry The Basilica into the future. “God gives us the courage to move forward,” states Mara. “Prayer is a resource in our faith. We need to invite God to walk with us through changes like this.” Likewise, Meade says, “While Fr. Bauer’s stepping aside is sad, Fr. Daniel brings a whole new chapter. This change is an opportunity for growth. We are ready for this transition.”
As Fr. Bauer’s tenure comes to a close, many parishioners and community members have been asking what they could do for him before he departs. You can follow Fr. Bauer’s example of commitment to The Basilica by making a tribute gift to The Basilica Fund. Fr. Bauer’s steady leadership has set a foundation for The Basilica’s future and your gift can support our beloved Basilica in delivering on our mission as we welcome our new pastor. You can make a gift online at mary.org/tributegift or by calling Nicole at 612.317.3472.
Homelessness in our Community:
A Zoom Forum
Saturday, June 25 at 9:00am CST
An update to Basilica Strategic Area of Focus:
Homelessness—Responding to the needs of people experiencing or at risk of homeless.
Homelessness is a reality in our community. As people of faith, we seek to learn from and support those experiencing homelessness. Together, we work to reduce its impact and make homelessness rare, brief, and a one-time experience.
Come to hear from people with lived experience of homelessness and from leaders in the state, county, and city. Learn about progress made through collaborative efforts to address homelessness in Minnesota. What has worked? What has not worked? How can we move forward to reduced homelessness in our community?
The Forum Panel will include:
- MN State: Cathy ten Broeke, Director to Prevent and End Homelessness for the State of Minnesota—along with consultants with lived experience of homelessness
- Hennepin County: David Hewitt, Director of Housing Stability
- Minneapolis: Katie Dillon, Director of Align Mpls
- Street Voices of Change: insight and wisdom from people with lived experience of homelessness
Register for the zoom credentials: Click HERE
For more information, call 612.317.3477.
Resources and more information