News

With this column I would like to update you in regard to several areas of our parish’s life.

1. Campus Master Plan: Beginning in January of 2018 a Campus Space Planning Committee began working to establish a vision for our campus to prepare us for the next 100 years of service to our Church and our city. Last fall this group completed its work in providing a vision, and establishing a set of priorities to ensure our buildings and campus serve both our current needs and the needs of future generations at The Basilica and in the community. 

As a next step, we selected a team of individuals and organizations to translate that vision into a more specific Master Plan for The Basilica and its campus. To work with members of our parish, we searched for an architectural firm that could work as a team with urban planners, historical preservationists, and landscape architects. Through a process which included “Requests for Qualifications” and “Requests for Proposals,” we identified interested experts from across the country. Eventually three teams were interviewed in person, and ultimately it was recommended to The Basilica Landmark Board that the Architectural firm HGA and their team be hired to develop a Master Plan for our Basilica Campus. The Basilica Landmark Board approved the funding of this recommendation and we began negotiations for a contract with HGA.

Next a small Master Planning Committee was formed to work with HGA and their team in the development of the Master Plan for The Basilica and its campus. This Committee met for the past six months to develop a Master Plan for our campus, which included some specific issues, e.g. accessibility, music, parking, meeting/social space, and our liturgical space. As the details become finalized we hope to share the results of the work of this committee in the coming months. 

The Plan is very comprehensive and includes recommendations to support the broad vision for the campus and solutions to all identified needs to better perform our day to day ministries and works. The Plan did not filter against a budget or a financial target to ensure we addressed all opportunities. The Master Plan included 15 “groupings” of work and expense to reflect potential projects or campaigns for The Basilica to consider. These are representative of likely project groupings, and the included detail allows The Basilica flexibility in defining scope of each project we pursue in the coming years. 

The detail in the Master Plan will be used as a starting point and will help guide us as we begin the work to determine the appropriate scope and phases of implementing the Master Plan. These project priority decisions will be reflective of the needs of our Parish community and reflect the interests, budget and giving capacity of our Parishioners and donors. 

2. Feasibility Study: As I have mentioned previously, The Landmark Board also approved funding to hire the firm of Bentz Whaley Flessner to conduct a feasibility study to help determine fund raising capacity for a potential Capital Campaign needed to implement elements of the newly developed Master Plan.

As the work of the Campus Space Planning, Master Plan Development, Feasibility Study and potential Capital Campaign have broad implications for our Parish we have been actively engaged with The Basilica Landmark Board, Parish Council, and Finance Committee to ensure our leaders are informed and appropriately involved in providing guidance and approval. 
3. Our Parish Finances: A big THANK YOU to all those who so generously supported our Basilica parish at Christmas and through year-end giving. Your financial support makes it possible for us to continue to offer the programs, ministries, and services that are the hallmark of our parish. 
 
I want to thank all those who have made a commitment of financial support to our parish community during our financial stewardship campaign this 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. Please know of my great gratitude for your ongoing financial support. 

4. Change Management Consultant: As I have mentioned previously, several months ago our parish our Parish Council and Finance Committee approved funding to hire a Change Management Consultant, to help us as we seek to implement our new strategic plan. 

Most recently our parish staff and a small Task Force have been working with the Change Management Consultant to help us develop an “assessment tool” to help us identify those ministries, services, and programs, etc. that are important and necessary for our parish community and need to continue, as well as those that need to change or end. Our new Strategic Plan has provided the foundation to guide our decision making process and prioritization. 

It is both good and important periodically for parishes to take a step back and review the various programs and ministries that are part of their parish operation to make sure they are still filling a need, or whether they to be modified, or ended so that new or emerging needs can be addressed. The Change Management Consultant is helping us take a careful and considered look at all that we do here at The Basilica. We hope to finish this work sometime in early spring. 

5. Archdiocesan Synod: On the weekend of January 18 and 19 members of our Parish Synod Committee spoke at all the Masses on the upcoming Archdiocesan Synod. A synod is a formal representative assembly designed to help a bishop in shepherding of the local Church. It is Archbishop Hebda’s hope that over the next two years, the synod process will involve every parish and draw on the gifts that have been bestowed in such abundance on the people of this Archdiocese to discern and establish clear pastoral priorities in a way that will both promote greater unity in our Archdiocese and lead us to a more vigorous proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ. In doing so, it will help Archbishop Hebda discern, through a consultative process, the pastoral priorities of our local Church today—and into the near future.

The synod process began this past fall and continues during the winter and spring with prayer and listening events. After these events, in the summer of 2020, Archbishop Hebda will announce the topics that will shape the synod. In autumn of 2020 and winter of 2021 there will be a parish and deanery consultation process. On Pentecost weekend May 21-22, 2021 there will be a synod assembly. Delegates to this assembly will be invited from across the archdiocese and will meet to discern synod topics and vote on recommendations for the Archbishop. The Feast of Christ the King (November 21, 2021) is the anticipated publication of pastoral letter from Archbishop Hebda addressing the synod’s topics with a pastoral plan to shape the following 5-10 years.

I believe the synod process brings with it much promise for the future of our Archdiocese. It will only be successful, though, if people pray, participate, and honestly share their concerns, questions and hopes for our Archdiocese. To this end —since I first informed you of the synod—we have established a parish synod ambassador team who will work to solicit feedback from our parishioners and keep everyone informed as the synod process moves forward. There is a link to this group as well as information on the listening session at mary.org/synod. You can anticipate hearing more about the synod in the weeks and months ahead. 

6. Catholic Services Appeal: The 2020 Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) will begin the weekend of February 1 and 2. This yearly appeal helps support the many ministries, services and programs within our Archdiocese. Now I realize many people are concerned that contributions to the Catholic Services Appeal 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 encourage you to make a gift to support these important ministries, services and programs. Please look for the Catholic Services Appeal information in pews, or learn more at csafspm.org.

7. Recent Maintenance Projects: In addition to several smaller maintenance projects this summer, there were also two major maintenance projects. We replaced the carpeting in the lower level of the church. If you have not been in the lower level of The Basilica recently I would encourage you to stop down and see the new carpeting. Replacing the old carpeting and updating the hospitality area with an expanded area of terrazzo was one of our major maintenance projects this summer. I know I come from a biased perspective, but I think it turned out quite well. 

The other major maintenance project this summer/fall was rebuilding the south façade of our parish school building. While the brickwork is done a couple months ago, the Terra Cotta needed to finish the job was delayed. It finally arrived a few weeks ago and has been installed. If you haven’t seen the rebuilt south facade of the school, I invite you to stop and view it after church some weekend. I think it turned out exceptionally well. 

8. Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate: The Bishops of the United States have launched a year-long initiative that invites Catholics to model civility, love for neighbor, and respectful dialogue. Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate will ask Catholics to pledge civility, clarity, and compassion in their families, communities, and parishes, and call on others to do the same.

The initiative is built on the recognition that every person—even, and perhaps especially, those with whom we disagree—is a beloved child of God who possesses inherent dignity. Civilize It is an invitation to imitate the example of Jesus in our daily lives in our encounters with one another through civil dialogue.

In talking about this initiative, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, of Venice, and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development emphasized the importance of Civilize It in the context of the current divisive climate: 

“Conversation in the public square is all too often filled with personal attacks and words that assume the worst about those with whom we disagree. We are in need of healing in our families, communities, and country. Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate is a call for Catholics to honor the human dignity of each person they encounter, whether it is online, at the dinner table, or in the pews next to them. I invite all Catholics to participate in Civilize It. In doing so, they can bear witness to a better way, approach conversations with civility, clarity, and compassion, and invite others to do the same.” You can find out more about Civilize It at CivilizeIt.org.

On Sunday, February 16 at 11:00am Bill Dougherty from Better Angels will speak in the lower level of The Basilica about the work of Better Angels. At the end of his talk we will invite people to take the Civilize It pledge of: 1. Civility; 2. Clarity; and 3. Compassion, and to pray for civility in our conversations. hose who are interested will also be invited to commit to the three additional three more workshops with Better Angels: March 7, 21, and 28. These will be skills workshops to delve deeper into the concepts Bill will address in his talk that day.

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

 

Full Bulletin:

February/March 2020 Bulletin

 

 

Archbishop Hebda invites all Basilica community members to participate in the Archdiocesan Disciple Maker Catholic Leadership Institute Survey.


The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes.  You will be asked to reflect on your spiritual growth. All responses will be confidential and our parish will only receive aggregate information about the community as whole in the spring.

The survey can be accessed via smartphone, tablet, or computer February 1 – March 1.  


Start the survey:
www.disciplemakerindex.com


This information will be valuable as we plan for the future and strive to be the best disciples we can be.

Thank you for your time and participation.

 

Forty days after Christmas, on February 2, we celebrate the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the Purification of Mary. Both commemorate events in the life of Jesus and Mary related to the observance of Jewish Law as narrated in the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke. The day is also known as Candlemas because on that day, the mid-point of winter candles are blessed for use in church as well as in our homes. 
 
Though not a Holy Day of Obligation, Candlemas was an important day for my family. That day all of us attended morning Mass during which our pastor blessed the Candlemas candles that we would take home with us. After Mass, we joined my grandparents for a breakfast of traditional Candlemas crepes. In the evening, before bed we lit our new Candlemas candles for the first time and prayed together. The next day we packed away our nativity scene as the Christmas season was complete.
 
Those Candlemas candles meant a great deal to us. We brought them out when someone was sick or when disaster struck and we prayed in the glow of their flame. When we cleared out the house after my parents died we found several half-burned Candlemas candles that had supported us and given us hope throughout the years. We stopped our work, lit those candles one last time, and prayed for my parents.
 
On Sunday, February 2, we will bless the candles we will use during our liturgies this coming year and we will have Candlemas candles available for purchase. These candles can be lit at home when we find ourselves in a difficult time so they may give us hope as their light breaks the darkness. They are also an invitation for us to become what the candles symbolize:
 
Where the world is dark with illness
let me kindle the light of healing.
Where the world is dark with hatred
let me kindle the light of love.
Where the world is bleak with suffering
let me kindle the light of caring.
Where the world is dimmed by lies
let me kindle the light of truth.
(from a prayer for Shabbat)

 

 

Responding to the needs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness is one of The Basilica's strategic areas of focus. 
 
In response to the Drake Shelter fire, please consider the following opportunities to help those in need.
 

Volunteer

  1. Volunteer to support and care for families that are homeless staying at The Basilica through the week of January 19. To volunteer, contact Julia.
  2. Volunteer at the Mulit Agency Resource Center (MARC) the Red Cross is setting up for families displaced by the fire. To volunteer, go to www.1stcov.org/volunteer
  3. Advocate for more shelter and affordable housing in our community. Visit the information table in the Lower Level of The Basilica after Mass January 19 to fill out a postcard to send to the Minneapolis City Council.
 
Drake shelter fire card
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Financial donations can be given directly to the following response organizations:
 
 
 

We are so grateful for your financial support throughout the year. As we approach the end of 2019, please consider making a special Christmas gift to The Basilica.

Donate now online

 

In order to receive tax-deduction credit for 2019, checks must be postmarked by Tuesday, December 31. Online gifts need to be received by midnight on December 31. The Basilica offices are closed on December 31 and  January 1.
 

If you need assistance with a year-end gift:

December 26-30: contact Char Myhre

December 31: call Audra Johnson at 612.328.3486 (cell). 

Plan to celebrate this joyous time of year at The Basilica of Saint Mary. The music, liturgy, and community create a special Christmas experience for all who pass through our doors. 

Please plan accordingly for parking and accessibility.  There is ample free parking in the lot under I-94 and in the MCTC ramp. 

Christmas Vigil  

Tuesday, December 24
3:00pm  Vigil Eucharist organ, cantor, Cathedral Choristers, Children’s Choir and Cherubs, oboe*
              
Celebrant: Archbishop Bernard Hebda
5:30pm  Vigil Eucharist Mundus & Juventus
8:00pm  Vigil Eucharist piano, cantor, flute, cello

Christmas Midnight  
ASL Interpreted beginning with Choral Music at 11:00PM

10:30pm  Prelude Music for Christmas harp
11:00pm  Meditation Music  Cathedral Choir, organ, harp, flute
11:30pm  Vigil of Lights organ, Cathedral Choir
Midnight  Solemn Eucharist organ, Cathedral Choir, brass, harp                                               

Christmas Day
Wednesday, December 25
7:30am  Eucharist at Dawn organ, cantor, violin
9:30am  ASL Interpreted
             
Solemn Eucharist organ, choir, brass, strings,
              
Celebrant: Archbishop Bernard Hebda                   

Noon      Solemn Eucharist organ, choir, brass, strings
4:30pm   Festive Eucharist music from around the world

 

*The Archbishop has given permission to celebrate the Vigil Masses starting at 3:00pm.

With this column I would like to update you in regard to several areas of our parish’s life.

1. Advent and Christmas Events/Activities at The Basilica: As we move into the Season of Advent and Christmas, there are several events/activities at the Basilica which you are invited to attend.

On Sunday, December 8 we will hold our annual Global Fair Trade Market from 8:30am to 3:00pm. Great gifts will be available from local vendors, just in time for Christmas giving. 

Taizé prayer, with the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, will be celebrated in the lower level of the Basilica on Tuesday, December 10 at 5:30pm. 

On Sunday, December 15 our Cathedral Choristers, Children’s Choir, Cherubs, and Juventus as well as the children of the Learning Program will present The King of Love by Betty Lou and Ronald Nelson. The musical uses familiar carols to tell the story of the Incarnation. The musical will be presented in the lower level of the Basilica after the 9:30 and 11:30am Masses. 

On Friday night, December 20, Handel’s Messiah will return to The Basilica. Tickets for that performance can be purchased at mary.org/messiah

Finally, we hope you will plan on joining us for one of our Masses on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Our Mass schedule is available on our website at mary.org.

2. Our Parish Finances: First and foremost, I want to thank all those who have made a commitment of financial support to our parish community during our Basilica Fund campaign this 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, as I write this column our income is tracking to budget but is down from being able to balance our budget. It is our hope to move towards a balanced budget over the next couple of years. We currently use funds from school rental income to balance our budget, but we know this is not a sustainable solution long-term. This year our goal is to raise an additional $150,000 over our budgeted income. 

I am hopeful that with our collections at Christmas and with year-end giving we will continue to stay on track with our projected income. Thank you to all of those who support our Basilica community financially. Please know of my great gratitude for your ongoing financial support. 

3. Change Management Consultant: Several months ago our Parish Council and Finance Committee approved funding to hire a Change Management Consultant, to help us as we seek to implement our new strategic plan. Our parish staff and a small Task Force have been working with the Change Management Consultant to help us identify those ministries, services and programs, etc. that are important and necessary for our parish community, and need to continue, as well as those that need to change or end. Our new Strategic Plan has provided the foundation to guide our decision making process and prioritization.

It is both good and important periodically for parishes to take a step back and review the various programs and ministries that are part of their parish operation to make sure they are still filling a need, or whether they need to be modified, or ended so that new or emerging needs can be addressed. The Change Management Consultant is helping us take a careful and considered look at all that we do here at the Basilica. We hope to finish this work sometime this winter or early spring. 

4. Archdiocesan Synod: As I mentioned in an earlier bulletin, on the Vigil of Pentecost (June 8, 2019), Archbishop Hebda formally announced that our Archdiocese will be embarking on a synod, our first since 1939. A synod is a formal representative assembly designed to help a bishop in shepherding of the local Church. It is the Archbishop’s hope that over the next two years, the synod process will involve every parish and draw on the gifts that have been bestowed in such abundance on the people of this archdiocese to discern and establish clear pastoral priorities in a way that will both promote greater unity in our Archdiocese and lead us to a more vigorous proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ. In doing so, it will help Archbishop Hebda discern, through a consultative process, the pastoral priorities of our local Church today—and into the near future.

Archbishop Hebda described the local pre-synod and synod process as following Pope Francis’ “listening Church” model. “It’s the confidence that comes from believing that the Holy Spirit works in the faithful, and it’s in sharing those things that are most important to us that we’re able to recognize the promptings of the Holy Spirit.” 

The synod process will begin this fall and winter with prayer and listening events. After these events, in the spring/summer of 2020, Archbishop Hebda will announce the topics that will shape the synod. In autumn of 2020 and winter of 2021 there will be a parish and deanery consultation process. On Pentecost weekend May 21-22, 2021 there will be a synod assembly. Delegates to this assembly will be invited from across the Archdiocese and will meet to discern synod topics and vote on recommendations for the Archbishop. The Feast of Christ the King (November 21, 2021) is the anticipated publication of pastoral letter from Archbishop Hebda addressing the synod’s topics with a pastoral plan to shape the following 5-10 years.

I believe the synod process brings with it much promise for the future of our Archdiocese. It will only be successful, though, if people pray, participate, and honestly share their concerns, questions and hopes for our Archdiocese. To this end —since I first informed you of the synod—we have established a parish synod ambassador team who will work to solicit feedback from our parishioners and keep everyone informed as the synod process moves forward. 

There is a link to this group as well as information on the listening session on our parish website at mary.org/synod. You can anticipate hearing more about the synod in the weeks and months ahead. 

5. I would also like to update you on the work of our Campus Space Planning Committee. Beginning in January of 2018 this committee began working to establish a vision for our campus to prepare us for the next 150 years of service to the Church and the city. Earlier this year this group completed its work in providing a vision and set of priorities to ensure our buildings and campus serve both our current needs and the needs of future generations at the Basilica and the community. Their efforts have helped us move into the future with confidence and hope. I am enormously grateful for all the time and effort this committee put into this important work. 

As a next step, we selected a team of individuals and organizations to assist us in creating a more specific Master Plan for the Basilica and its campus. The process, included “Requests for Qualifications” and later “Requests for Proposals” and in-person interviews. In these requests we wanted architectural firms that could work as a team with urban planners, historical preservationists, and landscape architects. We eventually interviewed three teams and ultimately recommended to The Basilica Landmark Board that the team, led by the Architectural firm HGA be hired to develop a Master Plan for our Basilica Campus. The Landmark Board approved the funding of this recommendation and we began negotiations for a contract with HGA. 

After this a small Master Planning Committee was formed to work with HGA and their team in the development of the Master Plan for the Basilica and its campus. This Committee has been meeting for the past few months and will continue to meet this fall. In addition to the whole Basilica campus this committee will also examine some specific issues, e.g. accessibility, music, parking, and our liturgical space. It is our hope that we will be able to share the results of the work of this committee early in 2020. 

6. Feasibility Study: As I have also mentioned previously, The Landmark Board also approved funding to hire the firm of Bentz Whaley Flessner to conduct a feasibility study to help determine fund raising capacity for a potential Capital Campaign needed to implement elements of the newly developed Master Plan.

As the work of the Campus Space Planning, Master Plan Development, Feasibility Study, and potential Capital Campaign have broad implications for our Parish we have been actively engaged with the Basilica Landmark Board, Parish Council and Finance Committee to ensure our leaders are informed and appropriately involved in providing guidance and approval. 

7. Recent Maintenance Projects: In addition to several smaller maintenance projects this summer, there were also two major maintenance projects. We replaced the carpeting in the lower level of the church. If you have not been in the lower level of the Basilica recently I would encourage you to stop down and see the new carpeting. Replacing the old carpeting and updating the hospitality area with an expanded area of terrazzo was one of our major maintenance projects this summer. I know I come from a biased perspective, but I think it turned out quite well. 

The other major maintenance project this summer/fall was rebuilding the south façade of our parish school building. While the brickwork is done, the Terra Cotta needed to finish the job has been delayed. When the order was first placed, we were told that the Terra Cotta had a 105 calendar day lead time and should have arrived by the end of August. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago we were informed that Terra Cotta will not ship until November 1. So unless there are further delays, by the time you read this bulletin the Terra Cotta hopefully will have arrived and have been installed. 

8. At the end of September we completed the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of our parish. 150 years ago, the Church of the Immaculate Conception was founded in Minneapolis. When the parish outgrew its original site, seven lots were donated at 16th and Hennepin, and the corner stone of the Basilica of Saint Mary was laid in 1908. 150 years is a significant amount of time. It speaks highly of the faith and dedication of those who have gone before us that not only has our parish survived, it has thrived. As our parish moves into the next 150 years we are blessed by our parish leadership and our staff who serve our parish so well. It is the task and challenge for all of us, though—and it will take our combined efforts—to ensure that for the next 150 years our parish will continue to be a beacon of hope on the Minneapolis skyline and place of welcome for all who come to our doors. I am excited by this challenge, and given all the work that has gone on the past several months—and some cases continues to go on—I am very hopeful for the future. 

 

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

 

Bulletin
https://container.parishesonline.com/bulletins/02/0207/20191201N.pdf

 

Archdiocese logo header

Archdiocesan Synod

On the Vigil of Pentecost (June 8, 2019), Archbishop Hebda formally announced that our archdiocese will be embarking on a synod, our first since 1939. A synod is a formal representative assembly designed to help a bishop in shepherding of the local Church. It is the Archbishop’s hope that over the next two years, the synod process will involve every parish and draw on the gifts that have been bestowed in such abundance on the people of this archdiocese to discern and establish clear pastoral priorities in a way that will both promote greater unity in our Archdiocese and lead us to a more vigorous proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ.  In doing so, it will help Archbishop Hebda discern, through a consultative process, the pastoral priorities of our local Church today – and into the near future.
 
Archbishop Hebda described the local pre-synod and synod process as following Pope Francis’ “listening Church” model. “It’s the confidence that comes from believing that the Holy Spirit works in the faithful, and it’s in sharing those things that are most important to us that we’re able to recognize the promptings of the Holy Spirit.” 
 
The synod process will begin this fall and winter with prayer and listening events.  After these events, in the spring/summer of 2020, Archbishop Hebda will announce the topics that will shape the synod.  In autumn of 2020 and winter of 2021 there will be a parish and deanery consultation process.   On Pentecost weekend May 21 – 22, 2021 there will be a synod assembly.  Delegates to this assembly will be invited from across the archdiocese and will meet to discern synod topics and vote on recommendations for the Archbishop  The Feast of Christ the King (November 21, 2021) is the anticipated publication of pastoral letter from Archbishop Hebda addressing the synod’s topics with a pastoral plan to shape the following 5-10 years.
 
I believe the synod process brings with it much promise for the future of our Archdiocese.   It will only be successful, though, if people pray, participate, and honestly share their concerns, questions and hopes for our Archdiocese. To this end--since I first informed you of the synod--we have established a parish synod ambassador team who will work to solicit feedback from our parishioners and keep everyone informed as the synod process moves forward.   There is a link to this group as well as information on the listening session on our website here.  You can anticipate hearing more about the synod in the weeks and months ahead.  
 
Fr. John M. Bauer
Pastor
 

FROM THE PASTOR 

October/November 2019 Bulletin 

Once again I would like to update you in regard to several areas of our parish life. I have mentioned some of these items before, but I want to ensure everyone has heard of them. Also, I have included new information in regard to some of these items. 

1. 150th Anniversary of our Parish: As I write this column we are heading into the final events for the celebration of our parish’s Sesquicentennial. 150 years ago the Church of the Immaculate Conception was founded in Minneapolis. The first Mass was celebrated on October 4, 1868 in a shed church. A stone church followed and was dedicated in 1873. When the parish outgrew this building, seven lots were donated at 16th and Hennepin Ave in 1904. The cornerstone for what is now known as The Basilica of Saint Mary (The Basilica of Saint Mary was originally known as the pro-Cathedral) was laid in 1908, and the first Mass was celebrated in The Basilica on May 31, 1914. 

150 years is an impressive amount of time. It speaks highly of the faith and dedication of those who have gone before us that not only has our parish survived, but it has thrived during the past 150 years. As our parish moves into its next 150 years we are extremely blessed by our parish leadership and our staff who serve our parish so well. It is a task and challenge for all of us, though—and it will take our combined efforts—to ensure that for the next 150 years our parish will continue to be a beacon of hope on the Minneapolis skyline and a place of welcome for all who come to our doors. I am excited by this challenge and very hopeful for our future.

2. Our Strategic Plan: Our Parish, Our Future: As we move into the next 150 years, we will be guided by our new strategic plan for our parish. (Our previous plan carried us through spring of 2018.) This plan will serve as a road map to guide and direct our efforts for the next three to five years. 

The reason we engage in strategic planning is simple. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29.18) If we don’t consciously and prayerfully plan for our future, we are at risk of drifting into a future not of our choosing and certainly not of our making. 

As I have mentioned previously, at the October 2018 meeting of our Parish Council our new Strategic Plan was approved. The new Strategic Plan retains our core Vision, Mission, and Values, and builds on—instead of replacing—the previous strategic plan. There are three new Strategic Areas of Focus in our Strategic Plan: 

The Arts: to move, inspire and transform individuals and communities through excellence in the arts and creative practices. 

Inclusivity: to build a culture where people feel valued, welcome, integrated, and included. 

Homelessness: to respond to the needs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness

We continue to work with a team of volunteer leaders and The Basilica staff to assist in both executing the strategic plan and ensuring we develop the right metrics and governance to ensure the outcomes desired are achieved.

3. Our Parish Finances: This fall we once again will be encouraging people to support our parish through their financial stewardship. The good news in regard to our parish finances is that thanks to the generosity of our parishioners, we ended the fiscal year with a much less than anticipated deficit. (The deficit is covered by a portion of the rental income from our school building.) The bad news is that the income from our financial stewardship is not keeping pace with the increase in our expenses. While we are not at a critical juncture yet, we are at the point where if we don’t do something, the issue will only get worse. 

Given the above, and to support the implementation of our Strategic Plan, our Parish Council and Finance Committee approved funding to hire a Change Management Consultant to help us identify those ministries, programs, services, etc. that are important and necessary for our parish community, and help us determine what services, ministries and programs will continue, change, or end. Our new Strategic Plan will provide the foundation to guide our decision making process and prioritization.

4. Archdiocesan Synod: On the Vigil of Pentecost (June 8, 2019), Archbishop Hebda formally announced that our Archdiocese will be embarking on a synod, our first since 1939. A synod is a formal representative assembly designed to help a bishop in shepherding of the local Church. It is the Archbishop’s hope that over the next two years, the synod process will involve every parish and draw on the gifts that have been bestowed in such abundance on the people of this Archdiocese to discern and establish clear pastoral priorities in a way that will both promote greater unity in our Archdiocese and let us to a more vigorous proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ. In doing so, it will help Archbishop Hebda discern, through a consultative process, the pastoral priorities of our local Church today—and into the near future.

Archbishop Hebda described the local pre-synod and synod process as following Pope Francis’ “listening Church” model. “It’s the confidence that comes from believing that the Holy Spirit works in the faithful, and it’s in sharing those things that are most important to us that we’re able to recognize the promptings of the Holy Spirit.” 

The synod process will begin this fall with prayer and listening events. After these events, in the spring/summer of 2020, Archbishop Hebda will announce the topics that will shape the synod. In autumn of 2020 and winter of 2021 there will be a parish and deanery consultation process. On Pentecost weekend May 21-22, 2021 there will be a synod assembly. Delegates to this assembly will be invited from across the Archdiocese and will meet to discern synod topics and vote on recommendations for the Archbishop, The Feast of Christ the King (November 21, 2021) is the anticipated publication of pastoral letter from Archbishop Hebda addressing the synod’s topics with a pastoral plan to shape the following 5-10 years.

I believe the synod process brings with it much promise for the future of our Archdiocese. It will only be successful, though, if people pray, participate, and honestly share their concerns, questions and hopes for our Archdiocese. To this end—since I first informed you of the synod—we have established a parish synod ambassador team who will work to solicit feedback from our parishioners and keep everyone informed as the synod process moves forward. I will share more information about the synod in the near future, as we continue to organize for our involvement and input. I mention it now, though, so that it will hopefully be in your minds, hearts and prayers. 

5. Parish Council Elections: I am pleased to inform you that in the recent elections for our Parish Council, Nadia Webber (representing Liturgy) and Donna Bonicatto (representing Learning) were elected to our Parish Pastoral Council. I am also pleased to report that Dr. Deirdre Palmer will service as the liaison to the Parish Council from The Basilica Landmark. And Katelin Richter Davis has accepted appointment as an at-large member of the Council. Finally, Trevor Adamek will serve as the Finance Committee Representative to the Parish Council. I am very grateful to each of these individuals for their willingness to serve on our Parish Council. The members of our Parish Council represent a cross section of our parish. 

The Parish Council meets monthly and works with me and our staff to determine the needs, aspirations, and direction of our parish. As such it plays a vital role in our parish community. I am enormously grateful to our Council members for sharing their insights and expertise as we work together to carry out the mission of our parish. 

6. I would also like to update you on the work of our Campus Space Planning Committee. Beginning in January of 2018 this committee began working to establish a vision for our campus to prepare us for the next 150 years of service to the Church and the city. Earlier this year this group completed its work in providing a vision and set of priorities to ensure our buildings and campus serve both our current needs and the needs of future generations at The Basilica and the community. Their efforts have helped us move into the future with confidence and hope. I am enormously grateful for all the time and effort they put into this important work. 

As a next step, we selected a team of individuals and organizations to assist us in creating a more specific Master Plan for The Basilica and its campus. The process, included “Requests for Qualifications” and later “Requests for Proposals” and in-person interviews. In these requests we wanted architectural firms that could work as a team with urban planners, historical preservationists, and landscape architects. We eventually interviewed three teams and ultimately recommended to The Basilica Landmark Board that the team, led by the Architectural firm HGA be hired to develop a Master Plan for our Basilica Campus. The Landmark Board approved the funding of this recommendation and we began negotiations for a contract with HGA. 

As a next step a small Master Planning Committee was formed to work with HGA and their team in the development of the Master Plan for The Basilica and its campus. This Committee has been meeting for the past few months and will continue to meet this fall. In addition to the whole Basilica campus this committee will also examine some specific issues, e.g. accessibility, music, parking, and our liturgical space.

7. Feasibility Study: As I have mentioned previously, The Landmark Board also approved funding to hire the firm of Bentz Whaley Flessner to conduct a feasibility study to help determine fund raising capacity for a potential Capital Campaign needed to implement elements of the newly developed Master Plan.

As the work of the Campus Space Planning, Master Plan Development, Feasibility Study and potential Capital Campaign has broad implications for our Parish we have been actively engaged with The Basilica Landmark Board, Parish Council, and Finance Committee to ensure our leaders are informed and appropriately involved in providing guidance and approval.

8. Second Collections: While no one likes special collections, it is heartening to report that the people of The Basilica have been very generous to the last special collections here:

On the weekend of May 4 and 5, $5,676 was contributed to The Basilica Landmark Annual Appeal.
On the weekend of June 15 and 16, $10,184 was contributed to the collection to cover the costs of air conditioning The Basilica.
On the weekend of July 27 and 28, $6,787 was contributed to our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry.

The contributions to these collections testify to the generosity of the people of The Basilica. Please know of my gratitude and prayer for your generous and caring response. 

 

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

 

 

 

Funeral arrangements for the Most Reverend Harry Joseph Flynn, retired archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, are as follows.

Sunday, September 29: Saint Mary’s Chapel, Saint Paul Seminary, Saint Paul

5:30 p.m. Reception of the Body

7 p.m. Evening Prayer (please note updated time)

7:30 p.m. – 7 a.m. (Monday) Public Visitation / Vigil for the Deceased

 

Monday, September 30: Saint Mary’s Chapel, Saint Paul Seminary, Saint Paul

7 a.m. Morning Prayer

7:30 a.m. Transfer of the body to Cathedral of Saint Paul

 

Monday, September 30: Cathedral of Saint Paul, Saint Paul

8 – 11 a.m. Public Visitation

11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial

Following Mass: Immediate transfer of the body to Resurrection Cemetery, Mendota Heights

Rite of Committal and Burial at cemetery

 

Flynn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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