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Multi-generational families committed to service
“FOR everything there is a season,” wrote Qoheleth, whose teachings were recorded in Ecclesiastes long before The Byrds added a catchy refrain in the Sixties. A time to reap, to sow, to laugh, to cry, to dance, to heal, to embrace, and more. There is a time and place to everything under the heaven. Some Basilica families have spent many times and seasons at The Basilica, purposely weaving the parish into their lives multi-generationally.
From the Fall 2018 issue of the BASILICA magazine.
Over the past few years, The Basilica of Saint Mary has prayerfully been developing a parish-wide, faith filled-response to racism. Rooted in our Catholic Faith, this effort will create a safe place for discovery and discernment, ritualizing respectful dialogue. It will provide multi-faceted learning experiences that include sharing stories/relationship building, art and media, speakers, workshops, and working with community organizations. It will be sustained over time, seeking to propel transformation and change individually and collectively.
The initiative on racism coincides with implementation of the new Basilica Strategic Plan. This new plan calls us to promote inclusivity as an institution—addressing cultural and religious divides. We are called to support and welcome those who have been marginalized and seek interventions in the systems that perpetuate marginalization.
To fulfill these goals, we are beginning a partnership with the Penumbra Theatre. Penumbra Theater is the largest and among the oldest African American theatre companies in the country. They produce artistically excellent, thought-provoking, and socially responsible drama that illuminates the depth and breadth of the black experience.
The partnership with Penumbra Theatre will begin this Lent. It will carry over several years, gradually folding in more and more of our parish community. Penumbra will customize each workshop to fit the unique needs of The Basilica. Its programming is rigorous and immersive. Together, we are grateful for the opportunity to build deep, ongoing relationships.
The Penumbra RACE Workshop invites precipitants to Learn, Reflect and Act. Learn: Explore how race, gender, class and other identify markers shape our opportunities, success, safety and circumstances. Reflect: Become aware of how our intersectional identities determine how we see the world and how the world sees us. Act: Practice intervening in oppressive behaviors as they happen.
Look for ways to get involved in the Basilica/Penumbra partnership. For more information contact Janice.
Join Basilica Reads this Lent. As a parish we will read Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep Your Day Job by Kerry Weber.
The book is available at local and online book sellers. Books will be available to purchase at Ash Wednesday Soup Supper. A limited number of scholarship books are available. Watch for discussion group options soon.
Contact Janice for more information or a scholarship book.
From the Pastor
With this column I would like to update you in regard to several areas of our parish’s life.
1. Christmas at The Basilica: Before Christmas becomes a distant memory, I want to express my gratitude to all those who made this year’s celebration of Christmas such a wonderful experience. Our attendance was great and I received numerous compliments about the quality of the liturgies and music. I was also very impressed with the prayerful spirit that permeated all of our liturgies. As your pastor, I have much to be proud of and even more to be grateful for this year.
I also want to thank all those who contributed financially to The Basilica this past year and particularly at Christmas. Your financial support makes it possible for us to continue to offer the programs, ministries, and services that are the hallmark of our parish.
2. Lent: While it may be hard to believe, this year Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, is March 6. As a child I never really appreciated Lent. As I’ve grown older, though, I’ve come to realize how important and how good the season of Lent is for me, and for all of us. As in the past, we have scheduled a variety of different speakers, activities, and services at The Basilica during this special season. I invite and encourage you to take a look at your calendar and to plan on participating as part of your Lenten discipline. Visit mary.org for a list of our Lenten activities and services.
3. Our Parish Finances: First and foremost, I want to thank to all those who have made a commitment of financial support to our parish community during our financial stewardship campaign last 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. The really good news this year is that over 200 new parishioners chose to make a pledge of financial support for our community.
In regard to our parish finances, as I write this column, we are slightly behind in regard to our anticipated income at this point in our fiscal year. Thank you to all of those who support our Basilica community financially. Please know of my great gratitude for your ongoing financial support.
4. Catholic Services Appeal: The 2019 Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) will begin the weekend of February 2 and 3. 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.
5. Strategic Planning: 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.) 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 meeting of our Parish Council our new Strategic Plan was approved. Our new Strategic Plan retains our core Vision, Mission, and Values, and builds on instead of replacing, the previous strategic plan. There are three Strategic Areas of Focus in our new 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.
This plan will serve as a road map to guide and direct our efforts for the next three to five years. Our efforts will help us identify those ministries, programs, services, etc. that are important and necessary for our parish community. The insert in this bulletin includes a brief description of our new Strategic Plan. For more information, visit mary.org/ourfuture.
6. Campus Space Planning: As I have mentioned previously, last fall The Basilica Landmark has approved funding for the hiring of a liturgical consultant to help us look at our entire campus, and plan for its future. This fall Fr. Gil Sunghera S.J. was hired to help us build a vision for our campus spaces that helps us welcome the community and our guests. Fr. Gil is from the University of Detroit Mercy and works with their School of Architecture.
Some of the important issues/concerns that will need to be considered are the renovation and updating of the interior of The Basilica. We will also need to consider how to make The Basilica and its campus more welcoming. Accessibility issues will also need to be looked at.
This process of developing a master plan for The Basilica and its campus will take several months and will need input from our parishioners. It will also occur concurrently with the implementation of our new strategic plan. We will share more information about this important work as we move forward.
7. 150th Anniversary of our Parish: 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. (When the parish outgrew its original site, seven lots were donated at 16th and Hennepin Avenue in 1904. The cornerstone of The Basilica, which was initially 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 30. Archbishop Hebda presided at the 9:30 and 11:30am Masses that day.
Throughout the coming year there will be a variety of events, activities, and exhibits to 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.
Two events in particular I would like to note include a reunion for all couples who were married at The Basilica. The Wedding Reunion will take place on Saturday, February 23 with a blessing at the 5:00pm Mass followed by a reception. More information can be found at mary.org/weddingreunion. There will also be a School Reunion for former students of The Basilica School. This reunion will take place September 7. More information can be found at mary.org/weddingreunion.
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 December 1 and 2, $11,621.95 was contributed to the second collection to help support our sponsorship of refugee families through Lutheran Social Services.
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
Download full bulletin
“The people at The Basilica make us feel like we are one family.”
Stories from immigrant members of our community in the recent issue of the BASILICA magazine.
A Parish of Immigrants
Over the last 150 years
When the seeds of The Basilica parish were planted in 1868, Minnesota was in its infancy, becoming the 32nd state in 1858. In the many decades that followed, tens of thousands of immigrants flocked to the state from across Europe pursuing a better (albeit colder) life.
Today, Minnesota’s story is not dissimilar. According to US Census data and refugee-support agencies, our state has the highest number of refugees per capita nationwide. While Minnesota has just two percent of the US population, it has 13 percent of its refugees. Our history calls The Basilica community to respond our brothers and sisters in need...
As we enter a new calendar year, we often assess how we’ve been spending our time and resolve to do something different. We may want to get more exercise, watch less TV, or make time for friends and family.
Perhaps you’ve thought about getting involved in your parish or community, but just never got around to it. Perhaps 2019 is the year to act on your intentions.
Volunteer opportunities abound at The Basilica. Are you passionate about social justice, caring for those less fortunate, or listening to another person’s story? Do you prefer to help behind the scenes or take charge of a project? Do you have skills as a writer, photographer, or graphic designer? Do you enjoy seeing the immediate results of your labors, as in polishing a chalice or shoveling a sidewalk?
Or do you not know where you fit, what gifts and skills you are being called to share? We invite you to explore where you are feeling called to serve.
Come explore what your gifts and skills are at the Spiritual Gifts Workshop on Saturday, January 19 with Deacon Winninger.
Or meet with a member of the Gifts Leadership Team who will help you explore a ministry at The Basilica that needs your specific gifts and talents to thrive. Contact the Gifts Leadership Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or request a meeting.
The new edition of the BASILICA Magazine is a commemorative issue celebrating the 150th anniversary of the parish. Thank you to the dedicated volunteer team who created the special issue.
Inside this issue:
Reflections to Commemorate the Parish’s 150th Anniversary
Life in 1868
Looking Back 150 Years Ago
A Parish of Immigrants
A 150 year journey continues
The Basilica’s Founding Families
Building the Parish 150 years ago
Meeting the Needs of the Community for 150 Years
Volunteers then and now
Carrying on a Basilica Tradition
Multi-generational families committed to service
Voices from Our Community
Local civic and faith leaders share their thoughts on this historic anniversary
Celebrating 150 Faces of the Parish
Telling the stories of our founders
The award-winning BASILICA magazine is sponsored by The Basilica Landmark, a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to preserve, restore, and advance the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations.
BASILICA is published twice a year (spring and fall) with a circulation of 20,000.
For advertising information please contact Liz Legatt.
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.
Monday, December 24
3:00pm Vigil Eucharist organ, cantor, Cathedral Choristers, Children’s Choir and Cherubs, oboe*
5:30pm Vigil Eucharist Mundus & Juventus
Celebrant: Archbishop Bernard Hebda
8:00pm Vigil Eucharist piano, cantor, flute, cello
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
Tuesday, December 25
7:30am Eucharist at Dawn organ, cantor, violin
9:30am Solemn Eucharist organ, choir, brass, strings,
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.
We are so grateful for your financial support throughout the year. As we approach the end of 2018, please consider making a special Christmas gift to The Basilica.
In order to receive tax-deduction credit for 2018, checks must be postmarked by Monday, December 31. Online gifts need to be received by midnight on December 31. The Basilica offices are closed on Monday, December 31 and Tuesday, January 1.
If you need assistance with a year-end gift:
December 26-28: contact Char Myhre
December 29-31: call Audra Johnson at 612.328.3486 (cell).
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Many of you have reminded me that our Church needs to face today’s challenges with more direct action. Changes must be made that will prevent regression to old ways. I am taking additional steps in this Archdiocese to change the culture that fostered the clergy abuse crisis.
A new position has been created in the Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment to ensure that the voice of survivors of clergy sexual abuse will be regularly heard within Archdiocesan leadership. To strengthen that voice, I want to say again today that any survivor who at any time entered into a settlement agreement containing a confidentiality provision is released from that provision. I also reiterate my pledge to meet with any survivors who would like to do so. I am leaving open all Friday afternoons in February, March and April for that purpose. Meetings at other times and places will still be available as well. Planning for spiritual outreach in 2019 is also underway. It will include opportunities, both at the parish and Archdiocesan levels, for reparation, spiritual renewal, and prayers for healing.
I also want to share a few thoughts regarding bishop accountability. This was a major topic at the recent meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As mentioned before, I strongly favor the creation of a lay-led mechanism for investigating and assessing any allegations made against me or any other bishop. It is clear to me that expanding meaningful lay involvement is essential for us to accomplish cultural change and put in place a credible and lasting process. In order to fully address bishop accountability, the Church needs a national or regional board empowered to act, much as our well-respected Ministerial Review Board has been empowered to address allegations involving our priests and deacons. The Church cannot fulfill its mission without public trust.
I remain troubled by the failure to bring closure to the 2014 investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct with adult males leveled against my predecessor, Archbishop John Nienstedt. You will recall that Archbishop Nienstedt had delegated the investigation to his senior auxiliary bishop, who in turn sought the assistance of two separate law firms. In 2015, the investigative materials were submitted to the then-Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. Also in 2015, the investigation’s underlying allegations were provided by the Archdiocese to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. As far as I know, any effort by the Vatican to further address the allegations was suspended in June 2015 when Archbishop Nienstedt resigned his office. Thus, the matter remains unresolved for the accusers, for Archbishop Nienstedt and for the public. I share the frustration that is felt by them, and believe this situation highlights the need for a better-defined process and independent mechanism to resolve allegations made against bishops.
I am also aware that resolution of the 2014 investigation would, in itself, no longer fully address the question of Archbishop Nienstedt’s status. After the Archbishop had already resigned and left Minnesota, a separate allegation emerged. In 2016, Ramsey County shared with us and made public an allegation it received that in 2005, then-Bishop of New Ulm Nienstedt, while at a World Youth Day event in Germany, had invited two unaccompanied minors to his hotel room to get out of the rain and wet clothing. It is alleged that he then proceeded to undress in front of them and invited them to do the same. Archbishop Nienstedt denies this ever happened. My opinion is this allegation needs to be fully addressed before a definitive resolution of Archbishop Nienstedt’s suitability for ministry can be made. For that reason, I transmitted Ramsey County’s documentation concerning this allegation to the Nuncio in 2016.
I have been asked repeatedly whether there are any restrictions on Archbishop Nienstedt’s ministry. My answer has always been that although I do not know of any, I am the wrong person to ask: Bishops report to the Holy Father, not to each other. I have no general juridical authority over Archbishop Nienstedt or any other bishop outside the Archdiocese.
I can, however, exercise some control over the types of public ministry permitted in this Archdiocese. With all of this in mind, and in the hope of advancing a resolution to this matter, I am taking the following steps:
- The Archdiocesan Ministerial Review Board has recently recommended that I publicly clarify that Archbishop Nienstedt, like any priest facing similar allegations, would not be free to exercise public ministry in this Archdiocese until all open allegations are resolved. I concur. As is true in similar cases involving our priests and deacons, this is not intended to convey an indication or presumption of guilt. While this may cause some pain, my hope is that this decision prompts further action by those with authority over Archbishop Nienstedt to resolve this question.
- Further, I will continue in the near term to advocate for the creation of an independent review board. In this way, my hope is that resolution of the allegations and any additional investigation can be handled in a way that is fair to all and worthy of public trust.
- Finally, I am publicly committing to transmit the entire 2014 Archdiocesan investigation to whatever national or regional review board is created.
I share the disappointment of many that more progress has not been made at the national and international levels to address bishop accountability. It is my prayer and hope that the February meeting Pope Francis is convening with bishops from around the world produces tangible results. We need a review board at the national or regional level - similar to our local Ministerial Review Board - with the authority and credibility to address allegations of misconduct against bishops and make fitness-for-ministry recommendations to the Holy Father.
As we continue our preparations this Advent for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ, I ask you to join me in praying for peace and healing for the men and women who have been abused, along with their families, friends, and communities. These are our brothers and sisters who deserve our prayers, love, and support more than ever.
With every good wish, I remain,
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Download the letter in PDF format.