After Spanish merchants and missionaries delivered the Gospel and Catholicism to Vietnam in the 14th century, and superseding many centuries of political struggles, Our Lady of Lavang remains a powerful and graceful intercessor, and a help to suffering Christians.

Just before the turn of the 19th century, in hopes of fleeing government installed persecution but aware of the realities of death and martyrdom, a group of faithful Vietnamese Catholics hid themselves in a dense and dangerous jungle, where they were met with disease, hunger, beasts and terrible weather. In their suffering, these Catholics continued praying, most memorably, a rosary, each evening, with the powerful hope that faith would save them.

To their joyful surprise, Our Blessed Mother appeared to them during their prayer, clothed in light and traditional Vietnamese garments, accompanied by two angels and carrying her child Son, Our Lord. To those gathered in awe, Our Lady of Lavang spoke, instructing them to boil leaves as a remedy to their ailments. What’s more, she promised that to any and all who prayed on that spot, their prayers would be heard and answered. Not long after her hope-giving visit, many anti-Catholic restrictions were lifted, the hidden returned to their homes and the news of the Blessed Mother’s visit spread.

Much like how this apparition site began and remains as a place of refuge, worship, and peace, we too here at The Basilica also strive to create a community of such character. For this reason, our namesake parish protects and gives hope to those who suffer in religious, physical and desperate ways, and we house a likeness of Our Lady so we remember her and those she helps.

The Basilica of Saint Mary invites you to Grill the Presenters: The Burden of Truth on Monday, November 24 at 7:00pm at Breck School.

Grill the Presenters is part of an ongoing series presented by the Minneapolis Multi-Fatih Network.

The MMN is committed to promoting all religious communities and affiliations in the downtown senior clergy network equally, within and outside of the existing network. 

The Voices of Faith Events, MMN's flagship program, features Ted-talk style speaking events. These events focus on honest appraisals of the religious tradition of the speakers, with a casual, personal and sometimes self-critiquing perspective that will be very relatable to those feeling that organized religion may not speak to them entirely.

Grill the Presenters: The Burden of Truth
Photo provided by: 
Minneapolis Multi-Faith Network

Dine out for The Basilica

Parishioners, visitors, and friends can "Dine out for The Basilica" Sunday, Nov. 16, at various participating restaurants.

A portion of the proceeds from the day will come back to support The Basilica. 

Dine of for The Basilica
Photo provided by: 
Leah Fogelberg

The Basilica church and offices will close at 2:30pm on Monday, November 10, 2014.

On Tuesday, November 11, 2014:

  • Basilica Church - Open
  • Basilica Offices - Open
  • City House - Meeting
  • DCEH Direct Service Providers - Meeting
  • Docent Training - Cancelled (will be rescheduled)
  • Lector Practice - Meeting
  • Masqueray Ball - Meeting
  • MUNDUS - Rehearsing
  • RCIA - Cancelled
  • Saint Vincent de Paul Outreach - Taking place
  • The Basilica Landmark FC Meeting - Meeting
  • Voices for Justice - Meeting

The Basilica of Saint Mary hosts the Bible and the Qur'an two-part series Nov. 9 and 16 following the 9:30am Mass on the lower level of The Basilica.

Cost to attend is $10. Tickets can be purchased here.

Adam, Noah, Abraham, Solomon, Mary and Jesus—all figure prominently in the Qur’an. This series will compare the accounts to give participants a greater appreciation of the holy book revered by a billion of our fellow humans and enable Christians  to gain a greater understanding of their own traditions. 


The Icon Festival Turns 20

The Annual Icon Festival began 20 years ago to educate parishioners and the community about the history and significance of Icons. The Greek work "Icon," meaning "image" is used in Christianity to denote a Holy Image.  Icons have profound historical and spiritual significance in the setting of the Orthodox liturgy, in private daily prayer rituals, and in the art world. The Festival provides opportunities to learn more about each other through art and music.

Photo provided by: 
Stacy Glaus

Provide feedback

Last Sunday, Fr. John Bauer, Pastor of The Basilica of Saint Mary, asked parish members via e-mail for their thoughts and opinions regarding a slight decline in weekend attendance at The Basilica. Hundreds replied and for that, we are grateful.

We recognize that not all of you may have had the opportunity to receive the e-mail or reply to his comments. Therefore we have extended this opportunity for you.

Click here to provide anonymous feedback directly to Fr. Bauer. All comments will remain anonymous, unless you e-mail him directly, and will only be shared in generalizations to the Parish Council and our community as a whole. 

We understand that while we may be facing some challenges at this time, our future is filled with hope. We have much to be thankful for.

Thank you for your feedback.



JustFaith Begins Phase 1

The 2014-15 year of JustFaith has begun.

JustFaith is a powerful exploration of social issues and social justice.  It examines topics through the lens of Catholic social teaching and a structured curriculum that incorporates texts, videos, speakers, and immersion experiences. 

This year, we have 15 group members and have met twice in Phase 1, which is focused on Compassion and The Option for the Poor. Some insights that have surfaced include that compassion is not only about kindness and helping others. It is not about a position of advantage where you get to choose who you help and when you help and then you get to go home.

It is so much more.

It is “suffering with” the other and standing with the other as Jesus did. Compassion is not as much about helping other people as it is about the beauty you discover in the other person and what you learn from their wisdom. Check out the TED talk we heard on compassion by Krista Tippett below.

The Basilica’s session of JustFaith began in October and will run through May on Wednesday evenings. For more information for future programming, contact BillDeb or Leah


Tuesday, October 21, 2014 has been proclaimed Basilica of Saint Mary Employment Ministry Day  in the State of Minnesota.  Our Employment Ministry has worked tirelessly to serve over 5,000 in job transition during the past 25 years.  This is indeed an honor.  Read the full proclamation here: Basilica of Saint Mary Employment Ministry Day, Tuesday, October 21

The Basilica of Saint Mary along with the Minnesota Catholic Conference, and the University of Saint Thomas Center for Catholic Studies presents Inequality of All Oct. 23, at 6:00 p.m. here.

Inequality for All is a 2013 documentary film that explores economic inequality and the widening income gap in the U.S. 

The film will be followed by a foundational talk on Catholic Social Teaching led by Dr. Robert Kennedy and Dr. Michael Naughton, both professors with the Department of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

Inequality for All explores the meaning of a good society and role of the widening income gap plays in our nation’s economic health.  The film also won the 2013 Special Jury Prize for Achievement in Filmmaking from the Sundance Film Festival.