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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pope Francis issued a Message for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be observed Sunday, September 29, 2019. Archbishop Hebda invites you to join him Sunday, September 29 at the annual Mass of Solidarity at 4:30 p.m. in the Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis.

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is home to more than 800,000 Catholics celebrating Mass regularly in 11 different languages. All are invited to share the richness of their culture by wearing the clothes of their native culture or ethnicity. 

Mass of Solidarity
Sunday, September 29
3:45pm Cultural Celebration
4:30pm Mass
 

 

El Papa Francisco emitió un Mensaje para la 105a Jornada Mundial de los Migrantes y Refugiados, que se celebrará el domingo 29 de septiembre de 2019. El Arzobispo Hebda lo invita a usted y a su comunidad a  unirse a él el domingo 29 de septiembre en la Misa Anual por la Solidaridad a las 4:30 p.m. en la Basílica de Santa María, Minneapolis.

La Arquidiócesis de Saint Paul y Minneapolis es el hogar de más de 800,000 católicos que celebran la misa regularmente en 11 diferentes idiomas. Todos están invitados a compartir la riqueza de su cultura
vistiendo prendas / vestimenta típicas de su cultura o etnia.

Misa de Solidaridad
Domingo 29 de septiembre, 2019
3:45pm Inicia la Celebración Cultural
4:30pm Misa
 

https://www.archspm.org/misa-de-solidaridad-mass-of-solidarity/

 

 

The Basilica of Saint Mary Mental Health Ministry is honored to present the Mental Health Author Series in partnership with Trinity Episcopal Church Mental Health Initiative and Excelsior Bay Books. The series will begin with author Mary Cregan Thursday, September 12 at The Basilica of Saint Mary. 
 
Cregan will read from and discuss her new book, The Scar: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery, a graceful and penetrating memoir interweaving the author’s descent into depression with a medical and cultural history of the illness. Cregan will sign books following the presentation and copies will be available for purchase.
 
Janet Grove, the Mental Health Ministry coordinator at The Basilica said, “We are proud to launch this new series with our presenting partners to bring awareness to mental health to our community. We are working to remove the stigma of talking about mental health and bring openness to the conversation.” 
 
The Scar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mental Health Author Series
Author Mary Cregan 
The Scar: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery 
 
The Basilica of Saint Mary
Thursday, September 12
7:00pm
Teresa of Calcutta Hall, Lower Level
Free of charge
 
 
About Basilica of Saint Mary
The Basilica of Saint Mary, located in downtown Minneapolis, is a welcoming Catholic community committed to the well-being of the city. It is a center for the arts and a place of refuge for the poor. The Basilica provides quality liturgy, religious education, pastoral care, and hospitality to all. The parish is the spiritual home to over 6,500 families of all ages, races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds.
www.mary.org 
 
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CONTACT:
Mae Desaire
Director of Marketing & Communications
Cell: 612-247-0008
mdesaire@mary.org

The new 150 Faces of The Basilica exhibit features photographs and stories of parishioners from the Immaculate Conception Church and The Basilica, 1868 through 2018: Broadway stars, police officers, businessmen and women, federal agents, nuns and immigrants. Come meet them all!

Through September 30
John XXIII Gallery and Teresa of Calcutta Hall, Lower Level


What is a parish without its parishioners?
October 4, 1868 marked the first Mass by Fr. James McGolrick, our first rector, in the first church building, the Shed Church attachment to the Immaculate Conception school, at the corner of 3rd Street N. and 3rd Avenue N. in Minneapolis.

For the last year we have celebrated our sesquicentennial with concerts and special Masses and service opportunities. To wrap up the year, we are celebrating some of the people who have made up the heart of this parish for the last 150 years: About half of them in August, the other half for September.

It is a somewhat random sample. It hopefully gives a taste of the diverse talents and experiences of our parishioners over the years.

I would love to hear your story as well – or the story of your family here! If you would like to share it with the Basilica Archives and the next generations of parishioners, please let me know.

Heather Craig
Basilica Archivist

    

Emil Oberhoffer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hattie McGahn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ida-Lorraine Wilderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Basilica of Saint Mary and The Basilica Landmark have announced that multidisciplinary design firm HGA has been selected through a competitive process to lead the Master Planning and Phase 1 design for its landmark Minneapolis campus.
 
The team for the project exemplifies a unique blend of expertise: HGA in architecture and engineering, as well as historic preservation in partnership with Beyer Blinder Belle; Duval Companies in urban strategy; and TEN x TEN in landscape architecture. This team will build upon the foundation created by a diverse group of parishioners who have worked to establish a strategic vision for The Basilica and its campus.
 
“The new Master Plan will prepare us for the next 100 years of service to The Basilica and to the city, as we strive to live out our vision to ‘seek the well-being of the city’ (Jeremiah 29:7), ” said Fr. John Bauer, Pastor of The Basilica of Saint Mary. “We look forward to working with HGA and the whole project team to identify opportunities for our campus renewal in architecture, urban planning, and historic preservation.”
 
HGA brings an extensive degree of expertise including past projects at Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum, Temple Israel, and the Walker Art Center. “Along with this incredible team of partners, we are honored to be selected for The Basilica project and help build the future of this historic Minneapolis institution,” said Design Principal and Vice President Joan Soranno, FAIA.
 
The Basilica of Saint Mary is more than just a beautiful building; it is a gathering place for all those who pass through the doors. The Campus Master Plan is part of a long-term process that will help build a vibrant Basilica community and enable it to thrive into the future and meet the needs of the people it serves.
 
 
About Basilica of Saint Mary
The Basilica of Saint Mary, located in downtown Minneapolis, is a welcoming Catholic community committed to the well-being of the city. It is a center for the arts and a place of refuge for the poor. The Basilica provides quality liturgy, religious education, pastoral care, and hospitality to all. The parish is the spiritual home to over 6,500 families of all ages, races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds. www.mary.org 
 
About The Basilica Landmark
The Basilica Landmark was organized in 1993 to preserve and restore The Basilica of Saint Mary and its campus for all generations. The Basilica Landmark is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization separate from The Basilica of Saint Mary. 
 
About HGA 
HGA is a national multi-disciplinary design firm rooted in architecture and engineering. Founded in 1953, we believe that enduring, impactful design results from deep insight into the people and passions that animate each unique environment. Our 11 offices from coast to coast craft specialized teams to serve clients in community, education, arts, healthcare, corporate, government, and energy industries. www.hga.com
 
About Beyer Blinder Belle
Founded in 1968, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners is an award-winning architecture, planning, and interiors practice of 190 professionals in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Boston. The firm’s multi-faceted portfolio encompasses preservation, urban design, and new construction projects that span a wide spectrum of building typologies and sectors, including cultural, civic, educational, residential, and commercial. 
 
About Duval Companies
Duval Companies creates design, development and policy solutions for public, private and nonprofit ventures that enhance the built environment. We generate concepts that are financially sound and contribute to a more just, beautiful and sustainable world.
 
About TEN x TEN
TEN x TEN is a landscape architecture and urban design practice grounded by a curiosity and passion for experimentation and agency. The studio was founded in 2015 by Maura Rockcastle and Ross Altheimer following conversations about the future of landscape architecture, and a commitment to build a practice around work that is inspired, immersive and enduring. With over 25 years of collective experience, the studio focuses on cultural, campus and public realm projects. 
 
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CONTACT:
Mae Desaire
The Basilica of Saint Mary
Director of Marketing & Communications
612.247.0008
mdesaire@mary.org
 
Erika Eklund
HGA 
Director of Communications
612.758.4344
eeklund@hga.com
 
 
 
 

Mary, Untier of Knots 

New icon commissioned for the 150th anniversary 

 

As Catholics, we’re familiar with sacred art. We have the privilege of a rich history of paintings and sculptures that reflect our many stories. You may have had a chance to experience one of these art mediums – iconography – during the beautiful and mystical Icon Festival he Basilica has held every November since 1995.

 

Debra Korluka Mary Untier of Knots icon

Iconography is a stylized art form depicting persons in their transfigured – rather than human – state. For centuries, icons have served as vehicles of prayer and helped bring a fullness to our faith. They are purposely two dimensional so that we, as the onlookers, create the third dimension as we are drawn in and given the opportunity to experience grace.

 

Moving closer to God through iconography is something which artist Debra Korluka understands well. “During my formative years,” she shares, “icons brought me joy and contemplation and transported me into a world where the laws of existence were far more harmonious than in our temporal world. The images spoke to me about this: everything visible assumes an invisible dimension, everything created assumes an uncreated perspective. Everything mundane becomes deeply mystical and timeless.”

 

Years of creating icons depicting the lives of the saints have taught Debra that “growth and wisdom experienced through suffering opens us to the source of life and love.” Her work flows into her everyday life as she “seeks the face of Christ in every individual I encounter.”

 

In Debra’s studio, while chant music plays softly in the background, natural light filters in and illuminates years of her Byzantine iconography work. Laid out on a table as a work in progress is a new icon, “Mary Untier of Knots,” which has been commissioned by The Basilica as part of the parish’s 150th anniversary celebration.  

 

Fr. Bauer explains this icon’s history: “The devotion to this icon has existed for centuries. It is not based on an apparition of Mary. Rather it finds its origins in a meditation of St. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon, who was martyred in 202. He wrote about how Adam and Eve tied the knot of human disgrace for the human race by disobeying God, while Mary undid it by saying yes to God and becoming the Mother of Jesus.

 

This icon offers a relevant perspective for us today. “We all have knots in our lives,” Fr. Bauer reflects. “Knots of alienation, addiction, discord, hurt, fears, a lack of respect, or the absence of peace or harmony. Through veneration of this icon, we hope to invite people to invoke the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin as we seek her assistance in untying those knots that hold us bound and keep us moving forward in our relationship with God.”

 

What a beautiful reminder of our relationship with and need for God; to acknowledge that as humans we can’t help but have discord or pain, yet we strive through prayer and God’s mercy to continually undo them.

 

While The Basilica commissioned Debra to create this icon, her artistic licensure doesn’t play a role in the piece the way it would in other art forms. Rather, her work adheres to the traditions that have been handed down over centuries in the Byzantine icon style. It’s the Holy Spirit guiding her brush. Debra parallels creating icons to the first verse of Genesis. “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light.” She further describes her process as “contemplating an image for an icon is a movement of being ‘without form’ to the ‘being of Light.’ The beginnings of an icon gradually develop in the hands of the artist through many stages before becoming a clear and luminous image.’”

 

When you have the opportunity to gaze upon this icon, or any other, allow yourself to be immersed and to contemplate your emotional response. Be absorbed into the image and the silent Word of God. Quiet yourself in prayer and open yourself up to evoke communication with the Divine.

 

While icons offer a chance to experience contemplation and grace, Debra also gently reminds us that “every person is created in God’s image and is desired by God to be a living icon through our lives of faith.” In that respect, we are intrinsically woven together. We are both invited into and invited to become icons.

 

Elyse Rethlake is a parishioner and a volunteer BASILICA photographer. 

 

This article was published in the spring edition of BASILICA magazine.
www.mary.org/magazinespring2019

 

 

From the Pastor: 
Every five years since my ordination, I’ve taken some time to reflect on and pray about my ministry, and to put my thoughts into writing.  This past June, I celebrated the 40th anniversary of my ordination. Because I have spent the past twelve years as your pastor, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and reflections with you. 
 
As I reflect on the past 40 years, I have to admit there have been both positives and negatives. Fortunately and thankfully, the positives far outweigh the negatives. But I can’t pretend the negatives don’t exist.  They are real; they have had an impact on my ministry; and, to varying degrees and in varying ways, they have caused me concern, frustration and, in some cases, anger. 
 
Five negatives in particular come to mind.  
 
1.  The failure of our church leaders to deal with the inappropriate sexual behavior of priests/bishops, coupled with the inability of our leaders to be financially transparent and accountable.    In regard to the former, we need to acknowledge first and foremost that nothing can excuse the absolute wrongfulness of the acts of these priests/bishops.  There are no excuses to be made for it and no explanations that mitigate it.  That this behavior was covered up or denied and/or is still being hidden is a source of great shame and sorrow.  Worse, though, is the fact that some of the leaders of our church just don’t seem to understand that they need to be transparent, honest, and accountable in regard to this issue. This same is true in regard to financial accountability.  Their lack of understanding and action in these areas is a source of anger and very deep disappointment for me.    
 
2.  Because of the sexual abuse crisis, many people have simply given up on our Church.  During the past several years, numerous people have told me personally, through letters, or through email, that they have reached the tipping point and no longer attend and/or consider themselves part of the Catholic Church.  As one who loves the Church, I find this a source of great pain. While I hope these breaks from the Church are only temporary, I suspect some of them will be permanent.  The loss of such people is a wound from which our Church won’t soon recover. 
 
3.  Studies indicate that the next generations (Gen-Xer’s and Millennials) aren’t making the Catholic Church their home as their parents and grandparents did.  Unless this is only a phase, (and I fear that it isn’t) the younger generations won’t come to know and appreciate the beauty of our faith.  With our sacraments, our rituals, our liturgy, our outreach and service ministries, our emphasis on the scriptures, our rich traditions, our various forms of prayer and spirituality, and the countless numbers of people who have dedicated their lives to witnessing their faith, I think our Church has much to offer.  I am concerned that, without being rooted in the Church, the younger generations won’t understand the ultimate importance and value of God in their lives.  
 
4.  The divisions in our Church.  As a Church, we are a diverse and varied group of people.  I see this as a rich blessing.  Unfortunately, many others do not share this view. It is a source of pain and frustration when Church members with divergent opinions fail to treat one another with respect.   I am amazed at the number of people who think it is acceptable to question the faith of a person with whom they disagree, or worse, to suggest that person should “find another church.” 
 
Five years ago in preparation for The Synod on the Family, Archbishop Michael Jackels of Dubuque asked for input from the people of his Archdiocese.  In reflecting on the input he had received Archbishop Jackels wrote: “The Church is a lot like a family, which is never perfect, often not pretty, sometimes dysfunction and a source of frustration, even the cause of anger.  And yet we still identify with it, claim membership in it, and how dare anyone try and say otherwise.  In the Church family we always hold out hope that other members or things in general will change for the better.  And what “better” means varies from family member to family member.”   
I think Archbishop Jackels really hit the nail on the head with this comment.  As I have said many times previously, I think Church is very much like family.  In my own family, we have managed to cancel out each other’s votes in the last several presidential elections.   And yet we realize that when we come together to share a meal, when we all put our feet under the same table, there is something much bigger holding us together than could ever divide us.   And so it is with Church.  We are indeed a diverse and varied group of people, but when we gather for Eucharist we are one family.   We can never disregard or disdain those with whom we disagree.  All of us need to strive to treat one another with respect and dignity as we try to follow the Lord Jesus.  
 
5.  The times, some of them obvious and public, when I fail to live out the Gospel I preach.  Frankly, there are people I have trouble liking, to say nothing of loving.  Forgiveness is an ongoing (and sometimes losing) battle in my life. Worse, my prayer is sometimes superficial and occasionally even peripheral to my life. On a regular basis, I need to remind myself (and others) that I am struggling to live out the Gospel I preach.  My faith life is a work in progress.  If and when people hear me preach about something I am not living, I hope they understand that, most often, I am preaching to myself before anyone else. 
 
Now, lest the above paint a rather gloomy picture, let me hasten to add that it is not by any means the complete picture.  As I said at the beginning, the positives in my ministry far outweigh the negatives.  And as we read in 1Peter 3:15: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.”  Thus, having shared some of the negatives, it is only right that I share the reasons for my hope.  
 
1.  The example of Pope Francis.   In many ways, the example of Pope Francis has renewed and energized my ministry.   Now I have to admit that I don’t always agree with Pope Francis. I also have to say that I have found him to be an equal opportunity offender. He says what he thinks/believes regardless of how or whom it might offend. 
 However, his decision at the beginning of his papacy not to live in the papal apartments, his response to people who have written him letters, his public embrace of children and the physically disabled, his washing the feet of men and women (Catholics as well as non-Catholics) his remarks about divorce and remarriage, and his comment: “Who am I to judge?”--- all these things remind us that ours is a Church of charity and mercy, a field hospital open to all.   
 
The words and actions of Pope Francis give me great hope.  The tell me that care and compassion, as well as openness and dialogue, are important concerns for him, and that he will avoid judgment, exclusion, and condemnation. This gives me great hope for our Church. 
 
2.  The strength of people’s faith. People will put up with poor homilies, poor liturgy, poor music (not that this ever happens at The Basilica), and failures in leadership because they realize that God is more important than all these things. At times, our Church is all too human.  When my homily doesn’t quite come together, or when the liturgy is lackluster, or when things extraneous to the liturgy hold sway, it is comforting to know that God is still there and that people realize this. Over the past 40 years, I have grown in my understanding that God’s grace is often recognized and known in spite of, not because of, the earthly vessels in which it is conveyed.
 
3.   People’s commitment to the Church in general and to The Basilica in particular.  To be honest, and as noted above, our Church and our parish have lost members, most recently over the mishandling of sexually inappropriate behavior of priests/bishops. Most people, though, hang in there, even when they disagree with or don’t like something. (This  is not to say that people don’t voice their opinions. I have learned that at The Basilica I seldom need to ask people twice what they think.) But by and large, those who disagree don’t just get up and leave; they remain committed.  I am enormously grateful for this.  We would soon cease to exist if people opted out every time they didn’t like something.  To grow and develop, our Church and our parish need the gifts, talents, and abilities of all its members.  
 
4.  The goodness and the gifts of those with whom I have worked and ministered.  With very rare exceptions, I have been blessed by the staffs with whom I have ministered, the parish leaders with whom I have worked, and the parishioners with whom I have served.  I am continually and happily amazed that they tolerate my idiosyncrasies, overlook my faults, excuse my failings, and forgive my mistakes.   I see God’s hand at work in raising up so many talented people to work in ministry and to assume leadership positions in parishes.  These dedicated people truly reflect the life and vitality of our Church.  For me, they are an ongoing sign that the Spirit of God is present and active and is guiding our Church and our parish into a future full of hope.  
 
5.  Our God is a God of new beginnings and second chances.   I have been reminded of this again and again in the last 40 years. When the way has seemed foreboding and the future uncertain, I have experienced God’s love and grace breaking into my life.  While I would love to schedule such times on a regular basis, they are definitely under God’s control, not mine.  In these special moments of grace, when I catch a glimpse of the awesome mystery of God, I am touched and sustained by God’s grace and love.   I understand what Saint Paul meant in quoting the prophet Isaiah:  “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on people what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor.2.9)  While these moments of grace do not happen nearly as often as I would like, they are the experience that enlivens and sustains my life and my ministry.  Additionally, they remind me that, while some things in our Church need changing, I can’t imagine doing anything other than being a priest.
 
So, with gratitude for the past 40 years and with confidence and trust in the future, I pray that God will continue to abide with me, with our parish, and with our Church, and will lead us all into a future full of hope.    
 
Rev. John M. Bauer
Pastor, The Basilica of Saint Mary
 
August/September 2019 Bulletin
 
 
 
 
 
Fr Bauer
Dear Parishioners: 
 
With this letter I would like to update you on several areas of our parish’s life. 
 
1. In regard to Staffing in our Learning Department. As I hope you know Paula Kaempffer, has left our staff to work for the Archdiocese. While we received several resumes from people interested in the position of Director of Learning and coordinator of the R.C.I. A. process at The Basilica, we were not able to make a hire for this position. This left us with the choice of continuing to look for someone to fill this position or to consider other options. Since we didn’t think there would be any increase in the pool of qualified candidates if we continued to search, we decided to consider other options. 
Given the above, a few weeks ago I met with Cathy Edwards, who recently retired as our coordinator of caring ministries. She has agreed to coordinate the R.C.I.A. Process for the coming year. Cathy knows The Basilica and I am sure is familiar to many of you. Cathy will step into a program that is well structured and a team that is very committed to the R.C.I.A. We are also blessed in that prior to departing for her new position with our Archdiocese, Paula Kaempffer had done much of the work of scheduling and lining up speakers for R.C.I. A. this coming year. Cathy will also be assisted by other members of our staff. 
Additionally, we have hired a familiar face to serve as Coordinator of Children’s Learning and Sacramental preparation. Christine Moore who previously served in this position will once again assume these responsibilities. She will begin work this summer. 
Finally, with the retirement of Nancy Keller, our Coordinator of Marriage Ministries, Ben Caduff will assume the responsibilities of this position. Ben will continue to coordinate family and young adult ministries, in addition to these new responsibilities.
 
2. I would also like to update you on the work of our Campus Space Planning Committee. Beginning in January of 2018 this diverse group of parishioners worked to establish a vision for our campus to prepare us for the next 100 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 engaged at The Basilica and serving 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 began a process to select a team of talented individuals and organizations to assist us in creating a new more specific Master Plan for The Basilica and its campus. This team will provide expertise in key areas such as Architecture, Historical Preservation, Urban Strategy and Landscaping. 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. 
Our next step was to form a small Master Planning Committee to work with HGA and their team in the development of the Master Plan for The Basilica and its campus. This Committee has begun meeting and will continue to meet for the next several months. We will set up some smaller subcommittees to examine some specific issues, e.g. accessibility, music, parking and liturgy. 
 
3. 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. 
 
4. Our Strategic Plan: Our Parish, Our Future: As I have mentioned previously, several months ago we began the process of developing a 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. 
I am pleased to report that 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 ensure we develop the right metrics and governance to ensure the outcomes desired are achieved.
 
5. Our Parish Finances: As I write this missive we have just ended our fiscal year. The good news 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.
 
6. 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 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. I will share more information about the synod in the near future, as our parish organizes for our involvement and input. I wanted mention it now, though, so that it will hopefully be in your minds, hearts and prayers. 
 
7. 150th Anniversary of our Parish: As I hope you are aware this year our parish celebrates its 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. 
We kicked-off our year long celebration of our 150th anniversary on Sunday September 30th, 2018 with Archbishop Hebda presiding at the 9:30 am and 11:30 Masses am. We also held a marriage reunion celebration for all couples who were married at The Basilica. This Marriage Reunion took place on Saturday February 23, 2019, at the 5:00 pm Mass and was followed by a reception. It was a wonderful celebration with couples married a variety of years in attendance. 
There will be other events in the next few months to help us celebrate our Sesquicentennial as a parish. I invite you to attend as many of these as you are able as we celebrate 150 years of faith. In particular I would like to mention a School Reunion for former students of The Basilica School. This reunion will take place on Saturday September 7.
The celebration of our Sesquicentennial will conclude at our liturgies on the weekend of September 28 and 29 when we will celebrate our St. Vincent de Paul outreach ministries. Our auxiliary bishop, Andrew Cozzens will be our guest presider at the 9:30 am and 11:30 Masses pm that weekend. We are also inviting everyone to participate in “Basilica Serves,” a variety of volunteer experiences to help others in our city. More information about the activities and events surrounding the 150th anniversary of our parish can be found on our website at www.mary.org.
 
8. Parish Council Elections: I am pleased to inform you that in the recent elections for our Parish Council, Nadia Weber (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 serve 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. 
 
Rev. John M. Bauer
Pastor, The Basilica of Saint Mary
 
 

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