Becoming Human: Dismantling Racism

During the season of Lent 2020, the University of St. Thomas and The Basilica of Saint Mary collaborated on an educational series toward dismantling racism that was called “Becoming Human.” The outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States made online delivery necessary. This "online portal" provides access to the series as well as some additional tools that will help to engage in the work of transforming our communities.

The theory guiding this series is that the racial history we all inherit is dehumanizing for all of us, though it is dehumanizing for white folks in different ways than it is dehumanizing for people of color. The only way to “become human” is to confront the legacy of white supremacy and undergo a process of transformation, even conversion, to engage more humanely in the world, especially across the color line.

This is a Six Part Series. Each session inlcudes: Welcome, Presentation, Activity, Reflection.

To access this series, go to   :

The Basilica of Saint Mary is offering this series free of charge. Please contact Janice Andersen for a discount code. 

Please consider watching the videos and engaging in the recommended actions. 
For more information, or to get involved in work of racial reconciliation at The Basilica of Saint Mary, contact Janice Andersen.


Johan van Parys, Ph.D., Director of Liturgy and the Sacred Arts, introduces the newest Basilica icon, Saint Josephine Bakhita.



Saint Josephine Bakhita Icon

















JUNE 14, 2020



Basilica Community,

Greetings once again from The Basilica of Saint Mary. I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during this challenging time.

Today, I would like to update you briefly in regard to some of the things that happening at The Basilica.

I would like to begin, though, with a word of thanks to all those whose ongoing financial support helps us to continue the many ministries, services and programs that are at the heart of our Basilica community. Please know of my great gratitude for your generosity. However, as I have mentioned previously, if you find yourself needing financial support, we invite you to connect with our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry.

The second thing I wanted to mention is that while we have ordered the equipment we need so that our staff can begin to livestream our liturgies that equipment unfortunately is on back order. Given this, until the equipment arrives and our staff can take on this responsibility, we will continue to pay to have our liturgies livestreamed.

The third thing I wanted to mention is that even though The Basilica is not open, we continue to meet, and to offer many activities via Zoom. I am enormously grateful to our staff and volunteers who make these this possible. I invite you to check our website to see all that is going on here.

I also want to mention, though, that if you have any suggestions, questions or concerns, please let us know. We may not be able to implement all your suggestions, or respond to all your questions and concerns, but we will do our very best. In this regard, I wanted to mention that last Sunday we had our first Vespers for Solace and Peace. We prayed for those impacted by COVID-19, as well as those who are victims of racism, violence, and injustice.

Going forward, we will continue to celebrate Vespers for Solace and Peace on the first Sunday of each month at 5:30pm. These services will be livestreamed and I invite you to join us.

Finally, as I have mentioned previously, our parish leadership will be meeting next week to discuss whether it is time to begin to reopen The Basilica. I ask for your prayers as we prepare to discuss this issue. Our primary concern is to make sure that when we reopen we can provide an environment that is safe and secure for all who come to The Basilica.



O Christ Jesus
When all is darkness
And we feel our weakness and helplessness,
Give us the sense of Your Presence,
Your Love and Your Strength.
Help me to have perfect trust
In Your protecting love
And strengthening power,
So that nothing may frighten or worry us,
For, living close to You,
We shall see Your Hand,
Your Purpose, Your Will through all things.


News and Resources

Livestream Mass

Weekly Newsletter

Events Calendar



JUNE 7, 2020


Today, I join my prayer with the family and friends of George Floyd as they gather to mourn his loss and celebrate his life. I also join my voice to their call for an end to the evil and sin of racism that permeates our society and our institutions. And with them I call for justice for George. 
Yesterday, Pope Francis spoke powerfully about what has been happening in MN over the past 10 days. Addressing Minnesotans and all Americans during his general audience he said: “I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd,” he continued “we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”
As I pray for justice and peace, truth and reconciliation in our land and in the entire world I also commit myself to work for justice, peace, and reconciliation for all.

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


Basilica Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during this challenging time. Today, I would like to update you in regard to three areas of our parish life.

First as many of you may have heard, early last Thursday morning, someone broke into The Basilica. A couple of bottles of flammable fluid were thrown onto the pews. Two pews and the wooden floor beneath them were damaged, but the fire did not spread to the surrounding area.

In response to this break-in, we have increased our security patrols by United Protective Agency. Additionally our volunteer security committee will continue to monitor our security situation and will be advising us about further measures we can take.

While this has been a very sad experience, no one was injured and the damage was very minimal. I ask for your prayers for The Basilica as well as for those who perpetrated this act.

The second thing I wanted to mention is that beginning Sunday and on the first Sunday of the month for the foreseeable future, we will livestream vespers for Solace and Peace. This evening prayer will be offered for all those who are impacted in any way by COVID-19. Particularly at this time, though, it will also offer us an opportunity to pray for George Floyd and for justice and healing in our community.

In this regard, there is also information on our website with a list of resources and groups you can partner with to help those people and neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the recent difficulties.

At the end of our Vespers service we will light candles in one of our Marian Shrines. We invite you to send your intentions to We will offer prayers to our loving God as we light these candles.

Finally, as I mentioned last week, our parish leadership has recommended that we not re-open The Basilica for public worship at this time. We will review this decision at our next meeting on June 17 and then every two weeks thereafter.

I know this decision will disappoint some, but, as your Pastor, I want you to know that I firmly believe it is the right decision at this time. And I want to remind you that the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is suspended. Certainly this is a painful time for all of us. With all that is going on in our world and in our city, it is good for us to pause and pray, and to look for ways, as individuals and as a parish, that we can bring justice, reconciliation, and peace to our community.

We need to do this, because our commitment to the common good calls us to be both good Catholics and good citizens. And we are challenged to do this so that The Basilica might continue to be a beacon of hope on the Minneapolis skyline.


Pope Francis: Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our faith

Mother, help our faith!
Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognize his voice and call.
Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps, to go forth from our own land and to receive his promise.

Help us to be touched by his love, that we may touch him in faith.
Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him and to believe in his love, especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross, when our faith is called to mature.

Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.
Remind us that those who believe are never alone.
Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that he may be light for our path. And may this light of faith always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord!

News and Resources

Parish Council Election: Vote by June 5

Zoom: Coffee and Conversation June 6, 9:00am

Livestream: Sunday Prayer for Solace and Peace June 7, 5:30pm

Livestream Mass

June/July Bulletin

Weekly Newsletter

Events Calendar