Fr. Bauer's Blog

 

Basilica Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times.

Today I have four things I would like to mention. First, while Governor Walz has relaxed some of the restrictions for public worship, the mask mandate and social distancing guideline of six feet is still in place. Given this, we anticipate maintaining our check-in protocols for the foreseeable future. So, if you are planning to attend any liturgies at The Basilica in the next few weeks, we ask you to pre-register via our website, and enter through the doors on the ground level on the western side of The Basilica.

Pre-registration helps us anticipate the number of attendees and makes the check-in process much faster. You can find a list of our liturgies for Holy Week and Easter on our website. If you are not able, or don’t feel comfortable joining us in-person for any of our Holy Week liturgies, we invite you join them via our livestream.

The second thing I would like to mention is that if you are not able to join us in person for Mass on Palm Sunday or Easter, we will distribute communion after the 9:30am and 11:30am Masses these days. As in the past, we ask you to stop in front of the rectory to receive a palm or prayer card, and then drive to the front of the school to receive communion.

The third thing I want to mention is that a few weeks ago we began the 2021 Catholic Services Appeal. The CSA is an independent foundation. The money raised through the CSA helps fund many ministries throughout our Archdiocese. I strongly support the CSA and I invite you to make a pledge of support as well.

While I am on the subject of giving, I want to thank you for your financial support of our parish and like to invite your continued financial support for The Basilica this Easter. Your financial support enables us to continue to offer the many ministries, services and programs that are at the heart of our Basilica community. I thank you in advance for your generosity.

Finally, on a very happy note, I want to let you know that one of our parishioners, Michael Reinhardt, will be ordained a priest of our Archdiocese on Saturday, May 29 at the Cathedral in St. Paul. He will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at the 9:30am Mass at Basilica on Sunday, May 30. I ask your prayers for Michael and the other men who will be ordained that day.

If you have questions or concerns about anything that is happening at the Basilica, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

Let me close today in prayer.

 

Loving God, we pray for your love and compassion to abound as we walk through this challenging time.

We ask for wisdom for those who must make decisions with widespread consequences.

We pray for those who are suffering from illness or pain and all who are caring for them.

We ask for protection for the elderly and vulnerable.
We pray for misinformation to be curbed that fear may take no hold in hearts and minds.

And as we exercise the good sense that you in your mercy provide, may we also approach each day in faith and peace, trusting in your goodness and love.

We ask all this through Christ our Lord.

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Basilica Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times.

Today I have three things I would like to mention. First, just a reminder that during the Season of Lent, in addition to our usual Sunday and weekday liturgies, we also have Stations of the Cross on the Fridays of Lent and Vespers at 3:00pm on the Sundays. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9:15 you are invited to join us via Zoom for Morning Prayer. If you are not able, or don’t feel comfortable joining us in-person for any of our liturgies, we invite you join via our livestream. 

The second thing I want to mention is that after the 9:30 and 11:30am Masses on Palm Sunday you are invited to come to The Basilica to receive a palm and Holy Communion. We ask you to stop at the rectory to receive the palm and then drive to the front of the school to receive communion. In regard to the other liturgies of Holy Week, I will have more information  in a couple of weeks. 

The third thing I want to mention is that a couple of weeks ago we began the 2021 Catholic Services Appeal. The CSA is an independent foundation. The money raised through the CSA helps fund many programs, services and ministries throughout our Archdiocese. I strongly support the CSA and I invite you to make a pledge of support as well. 

Finally, as always, if you have questions or concerns about anything that is happening at the Basilica, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

Let me close today in prayer.

 

Loving God, we ask you…

If we are ill, strengthen us.

If we are tired, fortify our spirits.

If we are anxious, help us to remember your abiding presence with us. 

Don't let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves.

Fix our eyes on You and our hearts on your grace.
Help us always to hold fast to the good, and to strive to see the good in others.

Give us generous hearts, resilient love, and enduring hope.  

In Jesus we make our prayer,

The one who suffered, died and was raised to new life,

In whom we trust these days and all days,

Amen.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
MARCH/APRIL/MAY 2021
Liturgy Department p. 4
Learning Department p. 6
Christian Life Department p. 8
Development Department p. 10
St. Vincent de Paul Financial p. 12
  Update
Sacred Art News: 
  Angels Unawares                  p. 13
Parish Council Nomination form p. 14
 
 
 

FROM THE PASTOR

With this column I would like to update you in regard to several areas of our parish’s life.
1. Christmas at The Basilica: While Christmas was very different this year because of the pandemic, there were also many blessings associated with it. Our staff did a great job of adapting, adjusting, and pivoting to help make our Christmas celebrations safe, meaningful, and reverent. They registered and checked people in for our Masses, they helped with livestreaming the Masses, and they also assisted in various liturgical ministries. I am very grateful to them—and to those volunteers—who made this year’s Christmas celebrations so special. As pastor of The Basilica, I have much to be proud of and even more to be grateful for this year. 
2. Our Parish Finances: First and foremost, I want to thank all those who made a commitment of financial support to our parish community during our financial stewardship campaign this past fall. Please know your commitment of financial support to our parish community is greatly appreciated. Your pledge—no matter the size—is important and makes a difference. It allows us to continue to offer the many programs, ministries, and services that are the hallmark of our Basilica community. 
In regard to our parish finances, I especially want to thank all those who contributed financially to The Basilica this past year and particularly at Christmas. Your generosity helped us surpass our income goal for December, which is a very important month for us. Thank you for your ongoing generosity. Please know of my great gratitude for your ongoing financial support of our parish. 
3. Lent: As a child I never really appreciated Lent. As I’ve grown older, though, I’ve come to realize how important and how good the season of Lent is for me, and for all of us. During this special season I invite and encourage you to look at your calendar and to plan on participating virtually or in-person in the services and activities that will be offered at The Basilica. Visit mary.org for a list of our Lenten activities and services. 
4. Catholic Services Appeal: The 2021 Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) will begin the weekend of February 20 and 21. This yearly appeal helps support the many ministries, services, and programs within our Archdiocese. Now obviously, many people are concerned that contributions to the Archdiocese will be used for purposes they didn’t intend. In this regard, it is important to note that The Catholic Services Appeal is an independent 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. This was done, to insure that all the money that is collected through the Appeal would go directly and solely to the ministries, services, and programs supported by the CSA. No CSA funds go to the Archdiocese. 
By pooling the financial resources from generous donors throughout our diocese, much important and necessary work is funded by the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA). As your pastor, I wholeheartedly endorse the work of the Appeal. I support it financially and I encourage you to make a gift to support these important ministries, services, and programs. Please look for the Catholic Services Appeal information at csafspm.org.
5. Maintenance Update: This summer and fall we undertook some major tuck-pointing on the western exterior walls of The Basilica. Fortunately, this work was able to be completed before the cold weather set in. This tuck-pointing will help seal the exterior of The Basilica from water infiltration. Given the age of The Basilica, we anticipate that tuck-pointing some part of the exterior of our beautiful Basilica will be an annual maintenance item. We are blessed in that The Basilica Landmark paid for this work. 
Speaking of water, we had a minor flood on Christmas Day in the lower level of The Basilica. A sprinkler head broke in the St. Vincent de Paul storage room in the lower level of the church and the flooring and several items in the storage room as well as the carpeting in the Teresa of Calcutta Hall were saturated with water. Fortunately, we were able to turn off the water and get a company to dry vacuum the carpet and get dehumidifiers set up. Things were going well until a week later the tubing on the coffee maker in the lower level sprung a leak and the carpet was once again saturated. The same company returned to dry vacuum the carpet and set up dehumidifiers. The good news in this situation is that because of the pandemic no activities were scheduled for the lower level, and most of the cost of the repairs will be covered by our insurance. 
6. Parish Life during the Pandemic: While most of our activities, services, and ministries are being conducted virtually, we continue to ask the question of when, how, and where, we can resume some of these activities on campus. At this point, and for the foreseeable future, we are making decisions on a case by case basis. We also continue to look for new opportunities/ways to celebrate the life of our parish community. 
Clearly, we all miss the opportunities to gather and celebrate our faith. We miss gathering with others, worshipping, and praying together. We also miss the opportunities to give witness to that faith through our community activities. When we gather again as we used to—and I believe we will—it is my hope and sincere prayer that church will have a renewed meaning for all of us.
7. Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Initiative: In 2016, after the death of Philando Castile, The Basilica recognized a need to address the important issue of racism in our parish, in our lives, and in society. As we began this work, we partnered with Penumbra Theatre and Sarah Bellamy, Penumbra’s Artistic Director. Through small group conversations and workshops with staff and parishioners, Sarah created a strategic and comprehensive report for The Basilica. 
After this report was presented, it was recommended to our parish leadership that a EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Leadership Team comprised of parishioners be established. This team began meeting in September 2020. With guidance by Sarah Bellamy, they are working on parish-wide goals, strategies, etc. within The Basilica and the larger community.
One of the first things this group did was to develop a Basilica EDI Position Statement, which would set a foundation and a direction for the work of this team. This position statement describes: 
The Why – What does our faith say? What are the conditions of our community? What does the gospel say to cause us to speak out? 
The What – What does The Basilica claim; what are the beliefs of The Basilica as it relates to equity, diversity, and inclusion?
And the future state – What do we hope for the future; how do we at The Basilica see our role and the role of The Basilica, both within the parish community and within our neighborhood, city, and state?
This Position Statement was presented at the January meetings of our Parish Finance Committee and Parish Council.
As a next step the team will work with Sarah Bellamy to begin the work of identifying goals. The visioning sessions will be held early in 2021. We expect to have a draft of goals by April/May 2021. In addition, Sarah Bellamy will work with staff to develop focused curriculum for The Basilica to address identified needs. If you have any questions about this initiative, or if you are interested in working on this issue, please contact Janice Andersen at jandersen@mary.org. 
8. Live Streaming Masses: As I hope you are aware, now that our livestreaming equipment has been permanently installed, we are able to open our Sunday 9:30am Mass for people to attend. As with the 11:30am and 4:30pm Masses, we do ask people to register to attend the 9:30am Mass in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing. You can register for Mass via our website or by calling the parish office if you don’t have access to a computer. At this point, we anticipate continuing with our limited weekend Mass schedule at least until Easter. We will evaluate this during Lent to see if any changes need to be made.
At the present time, members of our parish staff cover the livestreaming of our 9:30am Sunday Mass, and our noon daily Mass. Going forward, though, we will be inviting and recruiting volunteers to help with this new ministry. If this new volunteer ministry has some interest to you, or you know someone who might be good at it, please contact Travis Salisbury at tsalisbury@mary.org. 


Rev. John M. Bauer
Pastor, The Basilica of Saint Mary

Lenten banners hung above sanctuary

God Created Us for Service

Several years ago a friend of mine went through an unplanned job and resultant life transition. We kept in communication during his transition period via phone calls and emails. In one of our conversations he said: “John, I’ve been praying and trying to discern God’s plan for my life, but I’m not getting any clarity.” In response I told him that I wasn’t convinced that God had a specific plan for each of our lives, as that would negate our free will. And our free will is one of God’s great gifts to us—and more than occasionally—something that gets us (or at least me) into trouble.

If God had a specific plan for each of our lives, if we didn’t have our free will, we would be nothing more than automatons. Now in saying this, there is a need for great clarity, while I don’t believe God has a specific plan for each of us, I do believe that God has a “general” plan for all of us. The old Baltimore Catechism stated this well when it indicated that: “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.” Our free will allows us to make the choice for God in our each of our lives. Unfortunately, our free will also allows us to choose things other than God. Without free will, we would have no choice, but to love God in all God’s magnificence and glory. Free will is a great gift, but it also comes with great responsibility. Because of it even small decisions can have significant consequences.

Now the above having been said, I also believe that there are times when God does call us to a specific service. Cardinal John Henry Newman stated this well back in 1848: “God knows me and calls me by my name….God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.” These words of Cardinal Newman remind us that we are not created without a purpose.

I do believe we are called to some specific service—even though we may never know what that purpose or service is. Perhaps the service God is calling someone to be good husband/wife, father/mother, son/daughter, friend, neighbor, or co-worker. Perhaps it is simply to invite others to come to know Jesus by the witness of our lives. This service can be accomplished in a variety of ways. And at different times, this service may take a variety of forms. Being called to a specific service or purpose by God, though, is not the same as God having a specific plan for our lives. A specific service is not the same as a specific plan.

Like Cardinal Newman, we may never know the service God has committed to us in our individual lives. But with prayer and our free will—and even though we might not know it—we will accomplish that service.

 

 

Basilica Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times.

Today I have three things I would like to mention. First, next Wednesday February 17, is Ash Wednesday. We will have three Masses at 7:00am, Noon, and 5:30pm. The Noon and 5:30pm Masses will be livestreamed and ashes will be offered at each of these Masses.

Due to the pandemic, we won’t be making the sign of the cross with ashes on people’s foreheads. Instead we will drop a few ashes on the crown of each person’s head. This is the custom in much of Europe and it was suggested by our Liturgy Office as a way to distribute ashes this year. After the Noon and 5:30pm Masses ashes will also be offered to those who want to come to The Basilica.

The process will be the same as we have in the past. People will drive up 17th Street, stop at the rectory to receive a prayer card, and then drive to the front of the school to receive ashes. Given the logistics of offering ashes to people in their cars, we will use Q-tips to offer these ashes. Certainly none of this is ideal, but we want to do everything we can to ensure people’s safety and security.

The second thing I want to mention is that after the 9:30am Mass on the First Sunday of Lent, February 21st, we will once again distribute communion to those who want to come to The Basilica after livestreaming Mass at 9:30am. As on Ash Wednesday, we ask you to stop at the rectory to receive a prayer card and then drive to the front of the school to receive communion.

The third thing I want to mention is that, as is clearly evident, Lent will be very different this year. If you are not able, or don’t feel comfortable joining us in-person for any of our liturgies, we invite you join via our livestream. Also on our website you will be able to find suggestions for celebrating Lent and Holy Week at home this year.

Finally, as always, if you have questions or concerns about anything that is happening at the Basilica, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

Let me close today in prayer.

 

Loving God, Your desire is for our wholeness and well being.
We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time.
We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened.
We ache for ourselves and our neighbors, standing before an uncertain future.
We pray: may love, not fear, go viral.
Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good.
Help us to practice social distancing and reveal to us new and creative ways to come together in spirit and in solidarity.
Call us to profound trust in your faithful presence,
You, the God who does not abandon.

Amen.

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Basilica Community, 

I hope you and your family had a blessed Christmas and that this New Year is off to a good start, and that it will be filled with God’s abundant blessings.

Today, I have three things I would like to mention. First, I want to thank everyone for their financial support of our parish during the past months and particularly at Christmas. Your ongoing financial support enables us to continue to offer the many programs, ministries and services that are at the heart of our Basilica community. It has been a blessing for our parish. As your pastor, please know of my great gratitude for your ongoing financial support.

The second thing I want to mention is that now that our livestreaming cameras have been permanently installed, we are able to open our 9:30am Mass for people to attend. As with the 11:30am and 4:30pm Masses, we do ask people to register to attend the 9:30am Mass, in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing.

I also want to remind people that the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days continues to be suspended. Given this, if due to age, health issues, or other concerns, please know that you don’t have to attend Mass, and that we encourage you to join us for one of livestreamed Masses.

The third thing I want to mention is that we have begun looking ahead to our liturgical celebrations during Lent and Easter. Before we begin planning these celebrations, however, we would like the chance to de-brief people in regard to our liturgical celebrations during Advent and Christmas.

Given this, I would like to invite you to join me for coffee and conversation next Wednesday at 9:00am via Zoom. I’d like to hear from you about what worked well these past few months, and particularly at Christmas, as well as ideas and suggestions you might have for what we can do differently or better. The link to the Coffee and Conversation next Wednesday can be found on our parish website.

Finally, as always, if you have questions or concerns about anything that is happening at the Basilica, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

 

 

Ever-loving God,
font of harmony and source of unity,
we ask for the grace to face the sin of division in our society;

we beg for mercy and forgiveness for the harm we have done,

we implore that you open our hearts and minds to ways that will bring about      justice, equality, healing, harmony and peace,

and we pray for the conversion of heart of all those who perpetuate fear, promote supremacy and cultivate hatred.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

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Basilica dome cupola and cross

A Future Full of Hope

As I write this column, we are coming to the end of 2020. I suspect all of us are exhausted, but at the same time excited that this year has come to an end. We have had to deal with many changes and in some cases accept unanticipated losses. There also have been a seemingly never ending number of adaptations and adjustments we have had to make, often with little or no notice. Tempers are on a short fuse, and the ability to deal with differences and disagreements is almost non-existent. And yet, every now and again, a cause for hope emerges. 

Most recently for me a cause for hope occurred in the form of a note from a friend in her Christmas card. After acknowledging that the year had not gone as planned, my friend said: “And yet, there have been several blessings.” My friend went on to say that she had learned to slow down and enjoy some of the small pleasures that came her way. She had learned to listen better, to enjoy quiet, and to communicate in new/different ways. Additionally she had learned to enjoy and appreciate times with family and friends virtually, or when wearing a facemask. She also mentioned that her prayer life had improved. She found that she wasn’t squeezing prayer in amongst other activities, but rather giving prayer its own time and place in her day. 

I have to admit that my friend’s note was exactly what I needed. Prior to receiving her Christmas card, I had been lamenting everything that had gone wrong the past year. Her note, though, caused me to realize that in the midst of all the difficult and bad things that had happened, there was cause for hope. God is still with us, and is always and everywhere offering us God’s good grace. To be honest, though, recognizing and being open to God’s grace is not always easy. 

Often without choosing or intending it, I can get caught feeling sorry for myself. I take on a “woe is me” attitude and in its worst expression throw myself a little “pity party.” (The upside is that I serve my favorite foods at my pity parties.) When I recognize these times in my life, I have learned that I need to take things to prayer. Prayer doesn’t change the situation, but it does change me and my attitude. And even in difficult situations, I am reminded that there is cause for hope. 

Our God is a God of second chances and new beginnings. Our God is constantly inviting us to new life in those situations where we feel helpless and where things seem hopeless. The thing is, though, that God never forces God’s way into these situations. Rather God waits patiently for us to invite God in and to open ourselves to God’s grace. As we begin this New Year, let us pray that we might to open to the grace that God is offering us that even in the midst of this pandemic that we might see and choose anew, a future full of hope. 

 

 

 

Basilica Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these very challenging times.

Today I have three things I would like to mention. First, at this point, barring any unforeseen issues or circumstances, we anticipate having our usual schedule of Masses for Christmas and the weekend after. While our 3:00pm and Midnight Masses on Christmas Eve are both full; people will still have the opportunity to register to attend any of the other Masses on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. You can do this through the registration link on our website. Registration will be open until Monday evening December 21.

We also will be livestreaming several of our Masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, for those who don’t feel comfortable attending Mass in person. I also want to remind people that the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days continues to be suspended. Given this, if due to age, health issues, or other concerns, please know that you don’t have to attend Mass, and that we encourage you to join us for one of livestreamed Masses.

The second thing I want to mention, is that after the 9:30am Mass on Christmas Day, we invite those who have participated in Mass via livestream to come to The Basilica to receive Communion.

The process will be very simple, and there is no need to pre-register. You just come to the rectory on 17th Street, where you will receive a prayer card. You will then proceed to the front of our School building to receive Communion while you remain in your car. We will distribute communion from approximately 10:30am to 11:00am.

The third thing I want to mention is that this Sunday December 20 after the 11:30am Mass until about 1:00pm, we invite you to bring the baby Jesus from your Nativity set to the Basilica to be blessed. The blessing of the Bambinelli will take place in-front of the parish office building on 17th Street.

I will bless the baby Jesus from your Nativity set while you remain in your car. We will also give you a home blessing kit so that you can bless your home at the beginning of the New Year. Again, this blessing will take place after the 11:30 Mass on Sunday December 20th in front of the rectory on 17th Street.

Finally, I want to thank all of those who have continued to support The Basilica financially during the pandemic. Your contributions to our Annual Fund allows us to offer the many programs, services, and ministries that are at the heart of our Basilica Community.

I also ask you, though, to start thinking now about your Christmas contribution to The Basilica. The Basilica, like all parishes, relies on its collections at Christmas and Easter to balance its budget. Your financial generosity at this time will be greatly appreciated.

Finally, as always, if you have questions or concerns about anything that is happening at the Basilica, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

 

 

Dear God:
We pray for your love and compassion to abound
as we walk through this challenging season.

We ask for wisdom for those who bear the load
of making decisions with widespread consequences.

We pray for those who are suffering with sickness
and all who are caring for them.

We ask for protection for the elderly and vulnerable
to not succumb to the risks of the virus.

We pray for misinformation to be curbed
that fear may take no hold in hearts and minds.

As we exercise the good sense that you in your mercy provide,
may we also approach each day in faith and peace,
trusting in the truth of your goodness towards us.

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Advent video thumb

The Season of Advent

Being the second oldest of seven children, when I was growing up I spent a lot of time chauffeuring my younger brothers and sisters to various places for various activities. Since one of my grandmothers also did not drive, I often would have to drive her to various events and activities as well. Now I wish I could tell you my motives for being the family chauffeur were completely altruistic. The reality was, though, that it was simply the price I had to pay if I wanted to use the family car on weekends. 

Now to be quite honest, chauffeuring my brothers and sisters around was no picnic. They were almost never ready to leave when they were supposed to be. There were often unplanned stops and/or detours on the way to our destination, and they were seldom ready and waiting when I arrived to pick them up. Worse, though, was that their gratitude was almost non-existent. Occasionally, I’d get a quick thank you, but those times were rare. 

My grandmother, on the other hand, was different. She never failed to be ready when I stopped to pick her up and, in fact, was almost always waiting for me. This same thing was true when I returned to take her home from wherever she had been. Even in cold weather she would be standing either outside or close by the door waiting and watching for me so that I wouldn’t be kept waiting. And she never failed to express her gratitude to me. 

My grandmother was truly an Advent kind of person. She knew how to be prepared and how to wait expectantly. Even when her timetable had to be adjusted, she never complained. I think she realized, perhaps better than most, that time spent waiting does not have to be wasted time. It can be used for quiet reflection or interior preparation. Waiting can be a time when anticipation grows and expectations develop. Or, as in my grandmother’s case, it could also be used for a decade or two of the rosary for some of her errant grandchildren. 

Now I mention this today because in these waning days of the season of Advent, while the world around us seems to speed up and become busier than ever, this season calls us to slow down and wait—to wait in joyful hope and faith filled expectation. And even though we know what it is we are waiting and preparing for, there is (or should be) a sense of newness and excitement about it. For the great miracle of the Incarnation did not happen once long ago only to exist now as a pleasant memory. Rather, it is an ongoing event. God continues to touch the world with God’s grace and God’s love. At times, though, we can become so busy that this most basic fact of our existence can recede into the background, or worse, be forgotten altogether. 

As modern day believers, we need to be reminded on a regular basis that the Incarnation—the Word becoming flesh—is a wondrous and ongoing miracle. My prayer during these last days of Advent is that we might use these days as a time of remembering, a time of quiet preparation, a time of waiting in joyful expectation, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, that we might welcome him with love and be open to his grace. 

 

 

Basilica Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these very challenging times.

Today, I would like to mention three things. First, at this point, barring any unforeseen issues or circumstances, we anticipate having our usual schedule of Masses for Christmas, and the weekend after. Beginning this past Tuesday and continuing until Monday, December 7, you have the opportunity to submit your preferences for our pre-registration system if you want to attend Mass in person during the Christmas season. You can find the pre-registration form on our website.

We also plan to livestream several of our Masses during the Christmas season, for those who don’t feel comfortable attending Mass in-person. Also I want to remind people that the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days continues to be suspended. Given this, if due to age, health issues, or other concerns, please know that you don’t have to attend Mass, and that we encourage you to join us for one of livestreamed Masses.

The second thing I want to mention is that on Sunday, December 20 after the 11:30am Mass, we invite you to bring the baby Jesus from your Nativity set to the Basilica to be blessed. The Blessing of the Bambinelli will take place in front of the parish office building on 17th Street. I will bless the baby Jesus from your Nativity set while you remain in your car. We will also give you a home blessing kit so that you can bless your home at the beginning of the new year.

Third, I want to thank all of those who have continued to support the Basilica financially during the pandemic. Your contributions to our Annual Fund allows us to offer the many programs, services and ministries that are at the heart of our Basilica Community.

I also ask you, though, to start thinking now about your Christmas contribution to the Basilica. The Basilica, like all parishes, relies on its collections at Christmas and Easter to balance its budget. Your financial generosity at this time will be greatly appreciated.

Finally, as always, if you have questions or concerns about anything that is happening at the Basilica, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

 

 

God who gave,

We are tired. We want desperately to have the freedom to love, touch, move, and breathe how we want to. We want the fear gone, the suspicion gone. It is exhausting and we have become numb to the death toll just to survive mentally ourselves.

Our longings to go back to how things were are so strong that our compassion is waning. Keep us from sliding into what feels good and normal, that we might become fierce protectors of our neighbor, of our loved ones, and even our enemies.

Train us in new ways of being together, grant us gifts of connection and coping that do not further endanger our bodies nor the bodies of the most vulnerable among us.

And Grant the vulnerable, the people of color who affected disproportionately, the sick, the financially vulnerable, a holy shrewdness and wisdom to decipher who and what spaces are truly safe for them, that they might put boundaries in place in the name of love. Let us not grow weary of compassion.

@blackliturgies

 

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