Archives: December 2022

From The Basilica of Saint Mary and Fr. Daniel Griffith on the Death of Pope Benedict XVI

We join the worldwide Catholic community in mourning the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.


“Love is the light—and in the end, the only light—that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working. Love is possible, and we are able to practice it because we are created in the image of God.”

― Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger), God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est

 

Our prayers at The Basilica of Saint Mary will be offered for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during Solemn Vespers at 3:00pm on Sunday, January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, and during a Requiem Mass celebrated for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Thursday, January 5 at Noon in the Saint Joseph Chapel. 

 

Pope Benedict XVI

 

Statement of Fr. Daniel Griffith on the Death of Pope Benedict XVI

I was saddened to learn of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. I join the Church in praying for the repose of his soul and thank almighty God for his resplendent life of faith. Elected pope in April of 2005, Pope Benedict XVI served the universal Catholic Church as successor of Peter with humble grace and a soaring intellect. His papal encyclicals and other writings have been noted for their wisdom, clarity, and incisive presentation of Catholic teaching. Pope Benedict’s decision to resign as pope in February of 2013 was a manifestation of spiritual freedom. It may be counted as one of the most consequential acts in the history of the papacy.

The papal visits of Benedict XVI to numerous countries were regarded as a particular highlight of his service as pope. These visits were noted for their affirmation of particular cultures, the dialogue between faith and reason, and for their humble openness. Cardinal Vincent Nichols recalled Pope Benedict’s visit to the United Kingdom in 2010, saying: “I remember with particular affection the remarkable Papal Visit to these lands in 2010. We saw his courtesy, his gentleness, the perceptiveness of his mind and the openness of his welcome to everybody that he met.”      

Pope Benedict XVI’s service to the Catholic Church was not without error, which he personally acknowledged on numerous occasions. Specifically, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI acknowledged failures of Church leaders, including his own, in the protection of children and vulnerable adults and in holding abusing and enabling clergy to account for their harmful actions. Significantly, Pope Benedict brought Marcial Maciel, the disgraced and abusive founder of the Legion of Christ, to account shortly after becoming pope in 2005. Noteworthy too, was Pope Benedict’s historic meeting with victim-survivors of clergy abuse, the first of its kind, during his apostolic journey to the United States in 2008.

Joseph Ratzinger personally witnessed the horrors of totalitarianism growing up in Nazi Germany. He became a lifelong champion of religious freedom and other human rights. His intellectual and spiritual gifts – Ratzinger was described by many as a spiritual theologian – shone brightly from his youth, while serving as a peritus (expert) at the Second Vatican Council, as a professor, as a bishop, and in his long service as Prefect for the Congregation of the Faith, prior to being elected pope.

Joseph Ratzinger’s life was a Christian life – a life of faith, zeal, and generosity – a life poured out for others. May his good deeds go with him and may Mary, the Mother of God, generously intercede for him on his journey to the Lord. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Fr. Daniel Griffith
Pastor and Rector
The Basilica of Saint Mary

 

 

 

baldacchino Mary

Mother of the Church

On January 1, the Octave or eighth day of Christmas we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. This feast which can be traced back at least to the 7th C. was replaced by the Feast of the Solemnity of the Circumcision of Christ in the 13th C. Saint Pope Paul VI replaced the Feast of the Solemnity of the Circumcision of Christ with the more ancient feast of Mary, Mother of God.

Mary is known by many titles often evoking her role in Salvation history such as Queen of Heaven, her virtues such as Mother of Good Counsel, or referencing her apparitions such as Our Lady of Guadalupe. The oldest and most foundational title for Mary is Μητερ or Mother as found in Scripture. The oldest theological title is that of Θεοτοκος (Theotokos), Bearer of God or Mother of God.

Although the latter title is very common and perfectly accepted today it was not so from the beginning. This title likely was first used around the year 200 and became widely accepted by about the year 300, give or take some decades. At first, it seems to have been used for its poetic beauty without giving much thought to its theological implications. But as the title became more popular its theological significance was carefully studied and discussed.

In essence, two opposing positions developed. The first argued in favor of the title insisting that in Jesus, God became human thus Mary became the Mother of God. The opposing position disputed the title arguing that God who is eternal could not be born and thus the title of Mother of God made no sense.

Trying to reconcile both camps Archbishop Nestorius who became the Patriarch of Constantinople in 428 offered an alternative. Rather than Θεοτοκος (Theotokos) he suggested the use of the title of Χριστοτόκος (Christotokos) or Christ bearer, Mother of Christ.

The matter was discussed at the Council of Ephesus which Emperor Theodosius II called in 431 at the insistence of Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria and Pope Celestine of Rome. The Council affirmed the title of Theotokos, condemned and deposed Nestorius as Patriarch of Constantinople and sent him into exile. And ever since, Mary has been known as the Mother of God.

Since those early theological debates, Mary has been honored with many other titles. Just think of her titles in The Litany of the Virgin Mary, also known as the Litany of Loretto. This Litany was officially approved by Pope Sixtus V but predates this official recognition. Since its inception more titles have been added by successive popes, even until today. Since becoming Pope, Pope Francis has added three new titles to the Litany of Loretto: “Mater Misericordiae” or Mother of Mercy; “Mater Spei” or Mother of Hope; and “Solacium Imigrantium” or Solace of Migrants.

These many titles honor Mary and all her many virtues but the one title that is the foundation for them all is undoubtedly the title of Theotokos.

Mary, Mother of God, and Mother of the Church, pray for us.

 

 

 

Christmas Season 2022-2023: God is with us!

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God!

 

The Christmas Season begins on the evening of December 24 and runs through Monday, January 9, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

On January 1, we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Because January 1 falls on a Sunday, The Feast of the Holy Family which is usually celebrated on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year will be celebrated on Friday, December 30.

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is usually celebrated on the Sunday after Epiphany but when Epiphany falls on January 7 or 8. Baptism of the Lord is celebrated the next day, which is Monday, January 9 this year.

This year, the Christmas season ends on January 9, 2023.

 

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Mary is known by many titles often evoking her role in Salvation history such as Queen of Heaven; celebrating her virtues such as Mother of Good Counsel; or referencing her apparitions such as Our Lady of Guadalupe. The oldest and most foundational title for Mary is Μητερ or Mother as found in Scripture. The oldest theological title is that of Θεοτοκος (Theotokos), Bearer of God or Mother of God.

Although the latter title is very common and perfectly accepted today it was not so from the beginning. This title likely was first used around the year 200 and became widely accepted by about the year 300, give or take some decades. At first, it seems to have been used for its poetic beauty without giving much thought to its theological implications. But as the title became more popular its theological significance was carefully studied and discussed.

Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390) famously wrote: “…if anyone does not agree that Holy Mary is the Mother of God, he is at odds with the Godhead.” This affirmation belies the fact that not everyone accepted the title of Theotokos.

To settle the matter Emperor Theodosius II called the Council of Ephesus in 431 at the insistence of Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria and Pope Celestine of Rome. The Council solemnly affirmed the title of Theotokos, and ever since, Mary has been known as the Mother of God. 

 

What to do in the Domestic Church:

 

The oldest known prayer to Mary:

 

Although we are all most familiar with the Hail Mary and the Rosary, the oldest known prayer to the Blessed Mother is known by it’s Latin title as Sub tuum praesidium. The prayer is believed to have originated in Egypt in the third Century.

 

It would be very fitting to pray this prayer at home on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

 

To your protection we flee, O Theotokos,

do not despise our prayers in our need,

but deliver us from all dangers,

Glorious and blessed Virgin.

   (3rd C. Egypt)

 

 

A Quick Glance at the Readings for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God for your personal reflection

 

From the First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27

The LORD bless you and keep you!  
The LORD let his face shine upon you,

and be gracious to you! 

 

From the Second Reading: Galatians 4: 4-7

You are no longer a slave but a child [of God],  
and if a child [of God] then also an heir, through God.

 

From the Gospel: Luke 2: 16-21

And Mary kept all these things,  
reflecting on them in her heart.

 

This Week at The Basilica of Saint Mary

 

Sunday Eucharist

We will have the usual schedule of Masses on the weekend of December 31 and January 1.

Saturday: 5:00pm

Sunday: 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am, 5:00pm

 

Sunday Vespers:

On Sunday, January 1 at 3:00pm Mirandola will sing Gregorian Vespers for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God in The Basilica Choir Stalls.

 

On Sunday, January 8 at 3:00pm The Basilica Schola Cantorum will sing Vespers for the Solemnity of the Epiphany in The Basilica Choir Stalls.

 

We livestream Sunday Vespers.

 

The next Vespers will be on the first Sunday of Lent, February 26.

 

Weekday Eucharist

We celebrate Mass in the St. Joseph Chapel, Monday through Friday at 7:00am and at Noon. The noon Mass is livestreamed.

 

Please note that on Monday, January 2 we will only have a 7:00am Mass. The Basilica offices will be closed.

 

Morning Prayer:

On Thursday we gather in the Basilica Choir Stalls at 9:15am for the celebration of Morning Prayer. This is a simple but beautiful way to begin your day.

 

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

A priest is available in the St. Joseph Chapel for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation each Saturday between 9:00-10:00am. Please mark your calendars for

 

Exhibits

Please be sure to visit The Basilica’s principle Nativity behind the high altar as well as a selection of nativities from The Basilica collection which you can find in The Basilica as well as in the undercroft.

 

And please remember that Christmas is not a day but a season!

The world around us wants us to start celebrating Christmas to soon and wants us to stop celebrating too soon. The proper celebration of Christmas does not start until the Eve of December 24 and does not end till Baptism of the Lord. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I, for one will continue to enjoy my Christmas tree and many nativities at home and will listen to Christmas Carols till January 9.

 

GIFT DEADLINES FOR 2022 TAX CREDIT

To receive a tax deduction for 2022 charitable contributions, checks must be postmarked by Saturday, December 31, 2022 and received by Monday, January 2, 2023.

Electronic gifts can be made online at mary.org/give and must be received by midnight on December 31, 2022.

Electronic transfers of stock and securities must be scheduled the week prior by 5pm, Friday, December 23.

Staff will be available to assist you by phone and email on Friday, December 30 and Saturday, December 31. Please contact Anita at 612.317.3403 or arieder@mary.org.

The Basilica Offices are closed Friday, December 30 and Monday, January 2, 2023.

 

Have you considered a year-end gift?

There are 3 ways you can support The Basilica as 2022 comes to a close:

The Basilica Fund empowers our work inside these doors and throughout the community. It supports ministries and programs in liturgy, faith formation, pastoral care, interfaith relationships, sacred arts, and hospitality. The Basilica Fund accounts for 94% of operating expenses.

Make a gift to The Basilica Fund at www.mary.org/give

 

 

St. Vincent de Paul Logo

St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) provides direct support, such as emergency relief, relationship and community building, advocating for dignity, and social justice. Gifts go directly to support those in need.

Make a gift to support SVdP at www.mary.org/svdpgive

 

 

The Basilica Landmark Logo

The Basilica Landmark's mission is to preserve, restore, and advance The Basilica of Saint Mary for generations. The Landmark Annual Fund supports vital capital projects and ongoing maintenance on our aging buildings that must take place every year.

Make a gift to The Basilica Landmark at www.thebasilicalandmark.org/give


If you have not already done so, please consider a year-end gift to one of the missions above. Your giving allows The Basilica community to flourish for years to come.

 

Appeal of the Holy Father for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
General Audience - December 28, 2022

I would like to ask you all for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who is supporting the Church in silence. Remember him - he is very ill - asking the Lord to console him and to sustain him in this witness of love for the Church, until the end.

 
Prayer of the Elderly, Saint Pope John Paul II
 
Grant, O Lord of life, That we may savor every season of our lives as a gift filled with promise for the future. Grant that we may lovingly accept your will, and place ourselves each day in your merciful hands. And when the moment of our definitive “passage” comes, grant that we may face it with serenity, without regret for what we shall leave behind. For in meeting you, after having sought you for so long, we shall find once more every authentic good which we have known here on earth, in the company of all who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and hope. Mary, Mother of pilgrim humanity, pray for us “now and at the hour of our death.” Keep us ever close to Jesus, your beloved Son and our brother, the Lord of life and glory. Amen.
 
Photo provided by: 
(CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Parish Listening Sessions: Voices of the Parish

Fr. Daniel Griffith and members of the Parish Council want to hear what is on your mind and in your heart regarding The Basilica and the broader Catholic Church.

  • What fills your heart and breaks your heart about the Catholic Church and your Catholic faith?
  • What are the strengths of The Basilica in meeting your spiritual needs?
  • What are the ways in which The Basilica can improve in serving you and your families on your journey of faith?
  • What other  questions should be asked—questions relevant to your faith journey?

Join an upcoming listening session with Fr. Daniel Griffith.

Please register for one of these sessions to add your voice to the conversation. 

  • Sunday, January 29, 2023, 1:00pm, following 11:30am Mass   Register
  • Tuesday, January 31, 5:30-7:00pm – Zoom Session   Register
  • Saturday, February 11, 9:00-10:30am   Register
  • Sunday, February 12, 11:00am, following 9:30am Mass   Register

 

 

A Place of Hope

Our shared journey at The Basilica 

 

Basilica Magazine Winter 2022

 

Basilica Magazine Winter 2022

 

https://www.mary.org/sites/default/files/assets/files/5439-5357-basilica-magazine-winter-2022.pdf

 

 

Thank you to the dedicated team of volunteers who work to create this publication.  

The award-winning BASILICA magazine is sponsored by The Basilica Landmark, a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to preserve, restore, and advance the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations.

 

Each issue includes in-depth features about the people, art, history, and spirituality that make The Basilica a vibrant community.

BASILICA is published twice a year with a circulation of 20,000.

For advertising information please contact Mae Desaire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

christmas altar

Noon Masses December 26-30

All Mass recordings can be found at Mass Recordings.

 

Monday, December 26 - No Mass

Tuesday, December 27

Wednesday, December 28

Thursday, December 29

Friday, December 30 - No Mass 

 

 

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