Fr. Bauer's Blog

Pastoring during a pandemic is a unique, one of kind, never to be forgotten experience. I’m sure that all of us could substitute our own word for “pastoring” and this statement would ring true for all of us. We are in uncharted waters and trying to find our way through them without GPS or even a compass to guide us. Certainly there was nothing in my seminary experience or in my years of ministry that I can look to or lean on for guidance. And yet, somehow we are finding our way through it—often in fits and starts—occasionally stumbling—but, at least in my case, always with a clear sense that I am not alone. I feel the support of family, friends, colleagues, and parishioners. Also, and as importantly, I also have a clear sense that God is with me—that God is with all of us—during this time. 

Now, I would like to tell you that the sense that God is with us during this time is always evident and enduring. Truth be told, however, there are times when I struggle to find and/or recognize God’s presence. Usually these times don’t last long, but they are real. Perhaps it is just me, but it is hard to look at the face of pain and suffering and death, and not wonder if and where God is in the midst of it. When I take these times with me to prayer, though, most often I find and feel God’s peaceful presence. And I realize anew that God is with us and for us, and has not and will not leave us alone. 

Certainly there are people who would argue that the current pandemic is proof positive that God either can’t or won’t do something to “fix” it and make it better. I suspect there is little that I can say to these people that would change their mind. For myself, though, there are many things that are signs of God’s presence and grace, and I can’t ignore them. An ongoing challenge, though, is that I need to look through the “eyes of faith” in order to recognize these signs. 

Now there is a need for clarity here. Seeing things through the eyes of faith does not mean wearing rose colored glasses and approaching things with a certain naiveté. Rather faith is the lens that helps all of us to see God’s hand at work in our lives and in our world, perhaps especially when that presence is not immediately obvious. As we read in Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is confident assurance of what we hope for; conviction about things we do not see.” Seeing with the eyes of faith, then, is nothing more, but certainly nothing less than believing that the God who loved us and our world into existence, will always hold us in love, and ultimately will bring us home to live with God forever. 

Faith isn’t always an easy proposition, but I have never found anything to take its place. From my perspective it’s the thing that helps me to make sense of this life and to believe that there is something more and better that awaits us. 

 

 

Basilica Community,

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

As you probably have heard, last night there were protests in downtown Minneapolis – I’m grateful to share that there was no damage on The Basilica campus, but a number of neighboring businesses on Harmon and Nicollet did have damage. Please pray for a calm and peace in our city.

Today I would like to spend a few minutes talking with you about our programs, services, and ministries at The Basilica. As you know at the present time almost everything we are doing, with the exception of the celebration of the sacraments, virtually.

While this has the advantage of keeping everyone safe and secure, the disadvantage is not having personal contact. I suspect we all miss that. I know I do. Going forward we still anticipate that for the foreseeable future, most of our activities will continue to be done virtually.

However, given our success in regard to opening The Basilica for daily and Sunday Masses, it makes sense that we explore whether or not we can resume other activities on our campus. In this regard, we have begun to consider resuming some activities on our campus on a case by case basis. Our standard will be ensuring the safety, security, and well being of the participants or attendees.

Now as I said, most of our activities will continue to be done virtually, but we do need to be responsive to people’s needs and open to their ideas. We will do this on a case by case basis. And given the recent spike in the cases of Coronavirus in Minnesota, we will need to continue to be cautious in resuming any activities on The Basilica campus.

When there are activities on our campus, we will use the same protocols that we currently use to check people in for the celebration of daily and Sunday Mass, and weddings and funerals. We will also ask for a list of attendees and their contact information ahead of time, in the unlikely event that we need to do contact tracing.

As I mentioned last week, one of the ministries we have resumed is the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Confessions will be heard in the chapel from 9:00-10:00am on Saturdays. Our protocol for this is posted on our website under the sacraments tab, or you can call the liturgy office for information.

As always, if you would like further information about our protocols or if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

Finally, as I have mentioned previously in the event that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 traceable to The Basilica, we will need to reconsider the decision to open The Basilica for public worship. Also if there is a surge in cases of the coronavirus, we will follow any directives/restrictions from the city of Minneapolis or the state. I will alert you as soon as possible, should either of these things occur.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Please know they are appreciated more than you know. 

 

Most merciful God,
We come to you in our weakness.
We come to you in our fear.
We come to you with trust.
For you alone are our hope.

Bring wisdom to doctors.
Give understanding to scientists.
Endow caregivers with compassion and generosity.
Bring healing to those who are ill.
Protect those who are most at risk.
Give comfort to those who have lost a loved one.
Welcome those who have died into your eternal home.

Stabilize our communities.
Unite us in our compassion.
Remove all fear from our hearts.
Fill us with confidence in your care.

We ask this in the name of Jesus your son.
Amen.

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Sunday, September 6, 5:30pm

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Saturdays, September 19 & October 10, 9:00-10:30am
Tuesday, September 29, 6:30-8:00pm

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From The Pastor

A few weeks ago Fr. Tim Backous, OSB, who helped out on weekends at The Basilica several years ago, sent me a copy of a talk on racism that Abbot John Klassen gave at a conference of the monks of Saint John’s Abbey. I have been trying to write something on this topic for a while now with little success. I was so impressed with Abbot John’s talk, though, that I asked his permission to share a portion of it via this newsletter. He willingly gave permission, but with the caveat that I be clear that one of the sources for his talk was Fr. Bryan Massingale. I told him I would be pleased to do that. 


Below then is a portion of the talk Abbot John gave to the monks of Saint John’s Abbey on July 7, 2020. While this talk was given specifically to the monks, I believe it has meaning for all of us. 


Father Bryan Massingale, a distinguished black faculty member at Fordham University, has written a powerful reflection on the challenge that faces the white community at this time. He makes some concrete suggestions for moving forward which serves as a template for the following reflections. 

First, we need to understand the difference between being uncomfortable and being threatened. There is no way to tell the truth about race in this country without white people becoming uncomfortable. Because the plain truth is that if it were up to people of color, racism would have been resolved, over and done, a long time ago. The only reason for racism's persistence is that white people continue to benefit from it, and we benefit from it, whether we know it or not. This truth makes my head and heart hurt. 

What to do next? At first, nothing. Sit in the discomfort this hard truth brings. It needs to be agonizing. Let it move me to tears, to anger, to guilt, to frustration, to embarrassment. For what? For my ignorance. For my lack of understanding of the underlying issues that black and Latino people face every day. On any given day, at any given hour, their right to be on this good earth can be challenged. Because only when a critical mass of white people are outraged, grieved and pained over the status quo—only when white people become upset enough to declare, "This cannot and will not be!"—only then will real change begin to become a possibility.

Second, we need to admit our ignorance and do something about it. We need to understand that there is a lot about our history and about life that we're going to have to unlearn. And learn over. We have all been taught an incomplete version of America that masks our terrible racial history. As white Americans we do not have an accurate sense of the long tail of damage that slavery did to our nation. The impact of the Jim Crow laws that neutralized black efforts to become active citizens in our democracy. We probably know very little of the terror of lynching. For a 30-year period from 1885-1915, on average every third day a black person was brutally and savagely and publicly murdered by white mobs. At present, black and brown people experience law enforcement as the latest version of this reign of terror. 

Third, are there creative things we can do as a community that allow for learning on a deep existential level? Are there ways to invite our whole campus into this powerful moment and see it as a graced time for conversion toward Gospel justice and the inclusiveness of the reign of God? As a community we are profoundly related to alums and friends, so many of whom have been deeply moved by the events of the past five weeks. They look to us not so much for answers as for moral leadership, for the affirmation that our country needs to deliver on its promise of freedom to all of its citizens and to those who come to our doors. 

Fourth, we need to be aware of the expression of racist attitudes in members of our community. When we encounter these expressions, we may not be silent. If there was ever a time and a place for fraternal correction, this is surely it. Sometimes we may be too patient, too tolerant and dismiss a comment as insensitive or ignorant when in fact, it is just racist, and is extremely harmful in a community where we are working every day to be inclusive. 

Finally, we need to pray the psalms in fresh and imaginative way. The psalms are filled with lament, with the voices of men and women who are being crushed every day, people who have nowhere to turn. True, racism is a political issue and a social divide. But at its deepest level, racism is a sickness of the soul. It is a profound warping of the human spirit that enables human beings to create communities of callous indifference toward their darker sisters and brothers. As historian Paul Wachtel succinctly declares in his book Race in the Mind of America, The real meaning of race comes down largely to this: Is this someone I should care about?" Our Catholic and Benedictine monastic tradition have powerful responses to these questions and strong spiritual resources to support reflection and action. They also have the ethical foundation on which to stand. Let there be no question: this is an urgent time, a decisive moment, and we may not let it slip away.” 

 

 

 

 

 

Basilica Community,

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

I would like to continue to update you on the gradual reopening of The Basilica for public worship. Given the recent spike in the cases of Coronavirus in Minnesota, we are being very cautious in this reopening.

We have been open for daily Mass at Noon for four weeks. For the past three weekends we have been open for Sunday Mass at 11:30am. We have increased the number of potential attendees from 50 to 100. If things continue to go well, we hope to slowly increase the number of attendees to 120-130.

You can register to attend Mass on our website beginning Saturday at 11:30am. Registration will close at 8:00am online on Sunday morning or until we reach capacity.

The check-in point for daily Mass and the 11:30am Mass on Sunday are the accessible doors on the East side of The Basilica, between The Basilica and Cowley Center. When coming to Mass, we ask that you wear a face mask, and after being checked in you will then be shown to a pew. We ask that you continue to wear your facemask, and remain in that seat until the Mass has ended. Communion will be distributed after the Mass has ended. 

The 11:30am Mass is very simple with minimal congregational singing and just organ/piano and cantor. At some point in the next few weeks we will consider re-opening one or more of our other weekend Masses. We will also, continue to live-stream our 9:30am Mass, which will have more robust singing and different music ensembles. Currently we are using our staff to work the check-in table for our daily and Sunday Mass, but we are starting to recruit volunteers to help with this.

Also, this coming Saturday we will resume the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Confessions will be heard in the chapel from 9:00 to 10:00am. Our protocol for this will be posted on our website under the sacraments tab, or you can call the liturgy office for information.

We continue to celebrate baptisms, funerals, and weddings, although we limit attendees to 75. We hope to grow this number in the future. We are also looking at dates to celebrate the first communions and confirmations that were postponed this spring. 

For all of our liturgical celebrations we will continue to ask for a list of attendees and their contact information ahead of time, in the unlikely event that we need to do contact tracing. People have been very cooperative about this. 

If you would like further information about our protocols or if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website. 

Additionally, as I have mentioned previously in the event that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 traceable to The Basilica, we will need to reconsider the decision to open The Basilica for public worship. Also if there is a surge in cases of the coronavirus, we will follow any directives/restrictions from the city of Minneapolis or the state. I will alert you as soon as possible, should either of these things occur. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Please know they are appreciated more than you know. 

 

For those whose health is compromised by the coronavirus or other health issues.
For those who suffer from the economic impact of the virus, in travel, manufacturing, hospitality, energy or so many other industries.
For health care workers and first responders, and other public servants who put themselves in harm’s way for us.
For our leaders of the world, our countries, states, and cities, as they seek to help manage this challenge
God, this time can seem overwhelming. But you tell us over and over again not to be afraid.
Help us to trust in you.
Help us to turn away from my concern for ourselves,
and turn our heart, hands, and prayers toward the concerns of others.
In Jesus’ name we pray.

Upcoming Events

Prayer for Solace and Peace Recorded Live
Sunday, September 6, 5:30pm

Zoom: Beyond the Political Din
Saturdays, September 19 & October 10, 9:00-10:30am
Tuesday, September 29, 6:30-8:00pm

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Basilica Community,

Today, I would like to offer a brief update on the gradual reopening of The Basilica. As you know, we have been open for daily Mass at Noon for a couple of weeks now. The largest number of attendees has been 19 and the smallest number has been 4. Our protocols are working well, and people are appreciative that we are taking everyone’s safety very seriously. To help explain our protocols we have prepared a brief video which is available on our website.

We opened for our first Sunday Mass this past weekend at 11:30am. We limited the number of pre-registrations to 50 and had 42 attendees. Again, as with daily Mass, check in went well. The people who attended were very grateful to be back in church. In the next few weeks, if things continue to go well, we hope to slowly increase the number of potential attendees to 120 -130.

You can do register to attend this Mass on our website beginning Saturday at 11:30am. For now, registration will close when we reach 50 attendees, or at 8:00am Sunday morning. If you do not have a computer, you can also call the parish office.

The check-in point for daily Mass and the 11:30am Mass on Sunday are the accessible doors on the East side of The Basilica, between The Basilica and Cowley Center. After being checked in you will then be shown to a seat. We ask that you continue to wear your facemask and remain in that seat until the Mass has ended. Communion will be distributed after the Mass has ended.

At some point in the next few weeks we will need to look at reopening one or more of our weekend Masses. This mass, like the 11:30am Mass, would be very simple with minimal congregational singing and just organ/piano and cantor. Also, we will continue to livestream our 9:30am Mass, which will have more robust singing and different music ensembles.

Currently, we are using our staff to work the check-in table for our daily and Sunday Mass, but going forward we will need to look at recruiting volunteers to help with this. In regard to livestreaming, our staff has been great about learning how to operate our new equipment. 14 have been trained and 8 are currently scheduled to help with a daily Mass or the 9:30am Mass on Sunday. I am very grateful to them.

Finally, the past few weeks we have had one baptism service; two small funerals, and several small weddings. At the present time we limit attendees to 75, but hope to grow this number in the future.

The funerals and weddings we have had so far all have gone well. We do ask for a list of attendees and their contact information ahead of time, in the unlikely event that we need to do contact tracing. People have been very cooperative about this. If you would like further information about our protocols or if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

Additionally, as I have mentioned previously in the event that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 traceable to The Basilica, we will need to reconsider the decision to open The Basilica for public worship. Also if there is a surge in cases of the coronavirus, we will follow any directives/restrictions from the city of Minneapolis or the state. I will alert you as soon as possible, should either of these things occur.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Please know they are appreciated more than you know.

 

Dear Lord,
At this time of pandemic,
Let us foster respect and solidarity with others, especially those who are weak or poor.
Let us remain calm and ignore unsubstantiated rumors.

Let us take advantage of living together as a family.
Let us attend to moments of prayer.
Let us cultivate responsibility, patience, and hope.
Amen.

 

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A Powerful Reflection

A few weeks ago Fr. Tim Backous, OSB, who helped out on weekends at The Basilica several years ago, sent me a copy of a talk on racism that Abbot John Klassen gave at a conference of the monks of St. John’s Abby. I have been trying to write something on this topic for a while now with little success. I was so impressed with Abbot John’s talk, though, that I asked his permission to share a portion of it via this newsletter. He willingly gave permission, but with the caveat that I be clear that one of the sources for his talk was Fr. Bryan Massingale. I told him I would be pleased to do that. Below then is a portion of the talk Abbot John gave to the monks of St. John’s Abby on July 7, 2020. While this talk was given specifically to the monks, I believe it has meaning for all of us. 

Father Bryan Massingale, a distinguished black faculty member at Fordham University, has written a powerful reflection on the challenge that faces the white community at this time. He makes some concrete suggestions for moving forward which serves as a template for the following reflections. 

First, we need to understand the difference between being uncomfortable and being threatened. There is no way to tell the truth about race in this country without white people becoming uncomfortable. Because the plain truth is that if it were up to people of color, racism would have been resolved, over and done, a long time ago. The only reason for racism's persistence is that white people continue to benefit from it, and we benefit from it, whether we know it or not. This truth makes my head and heart hurt. 

What to do next? At first, nothing. Sit in the discomfort this hard truth brings. It needs to be agonizing. Let it move me to tears, to anger, to guilt, to frustration, to embarrassment. For what? For my ignorance. For my lack of understanding of the underlying issues that black and Latino people face every day. On any given day, at any given hour, their right to be on this good earth can be challenged. Because only when a critical mass of white people are outraged, grieved and pained over the status quo — only when white people become upset enough to declare, "This cannot and will not be!" — only then will real change begin to become a possibility. 

Second, we need to admit our ignorance and do something about it. We need to understand that there is a lot about our history and about life that we're going to have to unlearn. And learn over. We have all been taught an incomplete version of America that masks our terrible racial history. As white Americans we do not have an accurate sense of the long tail of damage that slavery did to our nation. The impact of the Jim Crow laws that neutralized black efforts to become active citizens in our democracy. We probably know very little of the terror of lynching. For a 30-year period from 1885-1915, on average every third day a black person was brutally and savagely and publicly murdered by white mobs. At present, black and brown people experience law enforcement as the latest version of this reign of terror. 

Third, are there creative things we can do as a community that allow for learning on a deep existential level? Are there ways to invite our whole campus into this powerful moment and see it as a graced time for conversion toward Gospel justice and the inclusiveness of the reign of God? As a community we are profoundly related to alums and friends, so many of whom have been deeply moved by the events of the past five weeks. They look to us not so much for answers as for moral leadership, for the affirmation that our country needs to deliver on its promise of freedom to all of its citizens and to those who come to our doors. 

Fourth, we need to be aware of the expression of racist attitudes in members of our community. When we encounter these expressions, we may not be silent. If there was ever a time and a place for fraternal correction, this is surely it. Sometimes we may be too patient, too tolerant and dismiss a comment as insensitive or ignorant when in fact, it is just racist, and is extremely harmful in a community where we are working every day to be inclusive. 

Finally, we need to pray the psalms in fresh and imaginative way. The psalms are filled with lament, with the voices of men and women who are being crushed every day, people who have nowhere to turn. True, racism is a political issue and a social divide. But at its deepest level, racism is a sickness of the soul. It is a profound warping of the human spirit that enables human beings to create communities of callous indifference toward their darker sisters and brothers. As historian Paul Wachtel succinctly declares in his book Race in the Mind of America, The real meaning of race comes down largely to this: Is this someone I should care about?" Our Catholic and Benedictine monastic tradition have powerful responses to these questions and strong spiritual resources to support reflection and action. They also have the ethical foundation on which to stand. Let there be no question: this is an urgent time, a decisive moment, and we may not let it slip away.” 

 

 

Basilica Community,

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

As I mentioned last week, beginning this Sunday, The Basilica will be open for Sunday Mass at 11:30am. This Mass will be low key, with just an organ or piano and a cantor. Initially, we will limit the number of attendees at this Mass to 50, but hope to grow this number in the weeks ahead.

We will also continue to livestream our 9:30am Mass, with more robust music and singing ensembles. Unfortunately at this time the 9:30am Mass won’t be open to the public.

The same protocols and registration that we currently use for those attending daily Mass will apply to those who want to attend the 11:30am Mass. To help explain these protocols we have prepared a brief video which is available on our website.

If you wish to attend one of these daily Masses you will need to pre-register the day before. You can do this on our website beginning Saturday at 12:30pm. Registration will close when we reach 50 attendees, or at 8:00am on Sunday morning. If you do not have a computer, you can also call the parish office.

When you register, you will need to provide contact information, in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing.

When you arrive for Mass you will need to wear a face mask and be checked in by a member of our staff. The check-in point is the accessible doors on the East side of The Basilica, between The Basilica and Cowley Center. After being checked in you will then be shown to a seat. We ask that you continue to wear your facemask, and remain in that seat until the Mass has ended. Communion will be distributed after the Mass has ended.

While people have been very appreciative of our livestreaming efforts, I recognize that there is also a desire for people to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist. The Eucharist is central to our lives as Christians. And speaking personally, it will be wonderful to have people at Mass again. The Eucharist is a community event, and it will be nice to once again have a community with whom I could celebrate and share the Eucharist.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I realize that to some the protocols we have developed may seem excessive, but in an abundance of caution and with a concern for the common good, as your pastor, I am convinced that at this time, this is the best way to proceed.

If you are over the age of 65, or if you have some health issues, or if you fall into a vulnerable category for some reason, I would encourage you not register to attend Mass at this time. If you would like further information about our protocols or if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

Additionally, in the event that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 traceable to The Basilica, we will need to reconsider the decision to open The Basilica for public worship. Also if there is a surge in cases of the coronavirus, we will follow any directives/restrictions from the city of Minneapolis or the State. I will alert as soon as possible, should either of these things occur.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Please know they are appreciated more than you know.

 

 

Gracious God, we celebrate you, our heavenly Father.
We thank you for being our provider and protector.
When sickness and disease threaten, you are our healer.
In times of distress and trouble, you are our deliverer.

Loving God, nurses, doctors and all on the frontlines, we lift them to you.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandmeic, we are all hurting
and don’t know what to do.
We pray that you will heal our hurting hearts, Lord, your creation renew;
We are depending on you God, we know you are faithful and true.

God of power and might, the whole world is at your command.
God of love and mercy, our lives are in your hands.
God of justice and truth bless your people, heal our lives and lands.
God of nations, languages, tribes and peoples and tongues,
Fulfill in us your divine purpose and perfect plans.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen.

Rev. Denise Smith-Lewis, Moravian Church, Antigua

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

Last week we opened The Basilica for weekday Mass at noon, and had the first public Mass at The Basilica since mid-March. Speaking for myself, it was absolutely wonderful to have people at Mass again. The Eucharist is a community event, and it was nice to once again have a community with whom I could celebrate and share the Eucharist.

If you wish to attend one of these daily Masses you will need to pre-register the day before. You can do this on our website beginning at 1:00pm the day before the Mass you want to attend. If you do not have a computer, you can also call the parish office.

When you register, you will need to provide contact information, in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing.

When you arrive for Mass you will need to wear a face mask and be checked in by a member of our staff. The check-in point are the accessible doors on the East side of The Basilica, between The Basilica and Cowley Center. After being checked in you will then be shown to a seat. We ask that you continue to wear your facemask, and remain in that seat until the Mass has ended. Communion will be distributed after the Mass has ended.

Last night, at a Zoom meeting with our parish leadership, we discussed opening The Basilica for a Sunday Mass. While people greatly appreciate our live-streaming efforts, we recognized that there is also a desire for people to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist. The Eucharist is central to our lives as Christians.

Given this, the decision was made that beginning Sunday, August 2, The Basilica will be open for one public Mass on Sunday at 11:30am. This Mass will be low key, with just an organ or piano and a cantor. Initially, we will limit the number of attendees at this Mass to 50, but hope to grow this number in the weeks ahead.

We will also continue to livestream our 9:30am Mass, with more robust music and singing ensembles. Unfortunately at this time the 9:30am Mass won’t be open to the public.

The same protocols and registration that we currently use for those attending daily Mass will apply to those who want to attend the 11:30 Mass. To help explain these protocols we have prepared a brief video which is available on our website.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I realize that to some these protocols may seem excessive, but in an abundance of caution and with a concern for the common good, as your pastor, I am convinced that at this time, this is the best way to proceed.

If you are over the age of 65 or if you have some health issues, or if you fall into a vulnerable category for some reason, I would hope that you would not register to attend Mass at this time.

As I have also mentioned previously, if you would like further information about these protocols or if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

For those, who are not able to attend Mass, I want to reiterate that, going forward, we will continue to livestream daily Mass as well as our 9:30 Mass on Sunday and our various liturgies and services.

In the event that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 traceable to The Basilica, we will need to reconsider the decision to open The Basilica for public worship. Also if there is a surge in cases of the coronavirus, we will follow any directives/restrictions from the city of Minneapolis or the State. I will alert as soon as possible, should either of these things occur.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Please know they are appreciated more than you know.

 


Loving God, we come to you full of anxiety about what may happen in the coming days and weeks. Shower us with the peace Jesus promised to his disciples. In this time of uncertainty and epidemic, wake us up to the reminder that we are not alone.

Even as we are asked to keep our distance from others, help us to find ways to reach out to those who need our support. We pray especially for those whose incomes and livelihoods are threatened. We pray especially for the children who will miss meals; for those already isolated, lonely and scared; for those who can not be with a loved one; and for all caregivers.

Loving God, give them your peace, and through our efforts ensure they have what they need.

Sustain, strengthen and protect all of us. Bless us as we seek to offer compassionate care and to show courage in the face of risk.
Remind us, each time we wash our hands, that in our baptism you call us to let go of our fears and live in joy, peace, and hope.

Amen.

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Basilica Community,

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

Yesterday, we had the first public Mass at The Basilica since mid-March. Speaking for myself, it was absolutely wonderful to have people at Mass again.

The Eucharist is a community event, and it was nice to once again have a community with whom I could celebrate and share the Eucharist.

Using our new equipment, our staff livestreamed Mass. For their first time, I think it went very well. I ask your patience, though, as our staff takes on this responsibility. No doubt, mistakes will be made, but please bear with us.

I you wish to attend one of these daily Masses you will need to pre-register the day before. You can do this on our website, the day before the Mass you want to attend. If you do not have a computer, you can also call the parish office. When you register, you will need to provide contact information, in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing.

When you arrive for Mass you will need to wear a face mask and be checked in by a member of our staff. The check-in point is the accessible doors on the East side of The Basilica—between The Basilica and Cowley Center. After being checked-in you will then be shown to a seat. We ask that you continue to wear your facemask, and remain in that seat until the Mass has ended. Communion will be distributed after the Mass has ended.

To help explain these protocols we have prepared a brief video which will be available on our website.

I realize these protocols may seem excessive to some, but in an abundance of caution and with a concern for the common good, as your pastor, I am convinced that at this time, this is the best way to proceed.

If you are over the age of 65 or if you have some health issues, or if you fall into a vulnerable category for some reason, I would hope that you would not register to attend Mass at this time.

As I have mentioned previously, if you would like further information about these protocols or if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

For those, who are not able to attend Mass, I also want to reassure you that, going forward, we will continue to livestream our various liturgies and services.

Once we are up and running for daily Mass, and have worked out any kinks in our protocols, we hope to open The Basilica for a public Sunday Mass. We hope to this beginning the first part of August. I will be discussing this with our Parish leadership at a Zoom meeting next week, and will let you know the outcome of that discussion.

As I close today, I ask for your prayers for our staff, our parish leadership, our parish, and our community, that we might be open to the guidance of God’s good Spirit during these challenging times.

 

Lord, Jesus, your light rises in our darkness and assures us that you are present with us and that your powerful closeness to us transforms our fear into hope.

May we join with our Holy Father, Francis, in spreading a "contagion" of hope "from heart to heart".

Protect all your selfless servants who continue to serve the needs of the most vulnerable by both hands and heart.

Give our elected leaders wisdom of heart in decision-making that the common good of our human family may be achieved and the gift of each person's human dignity respected.

May the fire of love, faith and hope burn within our hearts so that we may give witness to the mystery of your resurrected life among us and within us. Amen.

 

News and Resources

Livestream Mass

Weekly Newsletter

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Online vespers and prayer services

Make a Gift

Preparing to reopen for weekday Mass

 

 

Basilica Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times. I also hope you had a safe and happy 4th of July weekend.

Today I would like to speak with you about our plans to gradually reopen The Basilica for public worship. At this point, while we have encountered some technical issues in setting up our new livestreaming equipment, we still hope to begin inviting people to attend our Noon daily Mass beginning Wednesday, July 15.

In regard to daily Mass, if you are over the age of 65, or if you have some health issues, or if you fall into a vulnerable category for some reason, I would hope that you would not register to attend Mass at this time.

If you do wish to attend one of these daily Masses you will need to preregister the day before. You can do this on our website, the day before the Mass you want to attend. When you register, you will need to provide contact information, in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing.

When you arrive for Mass you will need to wear a face mask and be checked-in by a member of our staff. The check-in point is at the accessible doors on the East side of The Basilica, between The Basilica and Cowley Center. After being checked-in you will then be shown to a seat. We ask that you continue to wear your facemask, and remain in that seat, until the Mass has ended. Communion will be distributed after the Mass has ended. To help explain these protocols we have prepared a brief video which will be available on our website.

I realize these protocols may seem excessive to some, but in an abundance of caution and with a concern for the common good, as your pastor, I am convinced that at this time, this is the best way to proceed. If you would like further information about these protocols or if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

I also want to reassure you, that when we reopen The Basilica for public worship, we will continue to livestream our liturgies and services. Once we are up and running for daily Mass, and have worked out any kinks in our protocols, we hope to open The Basilica for public Sunday Mass. We hope to this beginning the first part of August.

Once we have reopened The Basilica for Sunday Mass, one Sunday a month we will also celebrate the sacrament of baptism for infants, and the Sacrament of Confirmation for those adults who were a part of our R.C.I.A program this past year. Later this summer we will also discuss how to celebrate First Communion and Confirmation with our elementary and high school students.

As I close today, I ask for your prayers for our staff, our parish leadership, our parish, and our community, that we might be open to the guidance of God’s good Spirit during these challenging times.

 

A Prayer for Our Uncertain Times
All Mighty God,
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health and making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love.
And during this time when we may not be able to physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.

News and Resources

Livestream Mass

Weekly Newsletter

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Online vespers and prayer services

Events Calendar

Make a Gift

 

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