Johan's Blog

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. In this week's installment, Johan is in our chapel dedicated to Saint Therese of Lisieux. Her life and writings inspire us all to be everyday saints, doing small things with great love. May we aspire to become members of the host of little saints, contributing to God's love and spreading God's love throughout our world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. In this week's installment, Johan discusses our painting of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, as the month of October is dedicated to the rosary. Our painting is a replica of an Italian painting in the Chapel of Saint Catherine at Santa Sabina in Rome. Santa Sabina was donated to the Order of Preachers, commonly known as Domincans, in the 13th Century.

 

 

 

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. In this week's installment, Johan discusses our serigraph of Saint Francis and the Wolf by John August Swanson in honor of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi on October 4. "Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures!"

 

 

 

 

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. In this week's installment, we explore this original painting of Saint Jerome, in honor of his feast day on September 30, by local artist Leo Winstead. Johan also describes different artistic influences and historical elements in the painting.

 

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. In this week's installment, we go up, up, up to see the tuckpointing efforts on the church's western facade. Johan also shares information about our past restoration and renovation efforts to preserve our magnificent building. We are deeply grateful to The Basilica Landmark donors, who honor the history and plan for the future of The Basilica.
 
(Apologies for the background noise in this week’s episode. Work never stops at The Basilica!)
 
 
 
 

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. This week's installment, in honor of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14, features information about our processional Icon Cross, created by our iconographer Deb Korluka.

 

 

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. This week's installment is the second in a series on our beloved church building. He focuses on elements of the church interior including the ancient architectural design of a basilica, the various types of stone, the altar, the baldacchino, the entablature statues of eleven apostles and Saint Paul, and the crucifixion scene.

 

 

 

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. This week's installment begins a series on our beloved church building, and the people who made the building possible. On August 15, 1915, on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, The Basilica of Saint Mary was solemnly dedicated. Each year since we have celebrated this dedication and now we know it as Basilica Day.

 

 

 

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. This week's installment features the Mary Garden and our "Beckoning" statue. Typically around the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary (August 15) we offer tours of our Mary Garden. Since that is not possible this year, we are pleased to bring our Mary Garden to you.

 

 

 

It has been five months now since we were able to celebrate the Eucharist together, in person.


I longingly remember the time when we greeted one another as we made our way into church. Sometimes with a simple nod, a handshake, a hug or a kiss and some friendly chatter. 


I longingly remember The Basilica filled with our beloved community. I long for our grand processions; our wonderful music; the Word of God proclaimed so well by so many; the singing by the assembly unusually robust for a Catholic community.


I longingly remember joining fellow parishioners for after Mass hospitality when we commented on the homily, the choice of music, the liturgical décor, our lives and together we rejoiced in being part of our very energetic faith community.


I miss all of this and I wonder if this is coming back any time soon. Even as we gradually re-open for the celebration of the Eucharist everything is different. Our rich liturgical encounter that touched all the senses has been replaced with a highly sanitized version of what once was. 


And yet, there is nothing that nourishes us Catholics more than the Eucharist and there is no better place to build up the Body or Christ, our community than in the Eucharist, even when we are limited to gather in a virtual way or in a highly sanitized physical way.


To augment the sense of community some people have set up “watch parties” to be present at the livestreamed Mass together. After Mass they sometimes stay for the traditional doughnuts and coffee, albeit in a virtual way.
The comment section on our Facebook page during the livestream of our Liturgies has proven to be a very welcome tool for people to interact and create community. Now, this electronic gift can also become a burden. Maybe we can use this tool more judiciously and hold off on commenting during certain parts of the Mass as the consecration on occasion seemed buried under the many comments.


We have also discovered that our parishioners not only miss our people, our liturgies and our ministries, they also The Basilica itself. Because we are not able to go to The Basilica we have decided to bring The Basilica to you. So we have created a new initiative called Art that Surrounds Us with weekly video vignettes about some of our most beloved works of sacred art and sacred shrines. 


There is no text book that tells us exactly what to do. All of this is so new to us and things keep changing and evolving but we are doing the best we possibly can. 


This is a challenging time but it is also a time to think outside the box. While taking health protocols seriously we strive to nourish the souls of our parishioners and we work hard to assure that our community stays connected through our liturgies. Never hesitate to let us know what we can do better.

 

 

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