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Basilica Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times.

Today I have three things I would like to mention. First, just a reminder that during the Season of Lent, in addition to our usual Sunday and weekday liturgies, we also have Stations of the Cross on the Fridays of Lent and Vespers at 3:00pm on the Sundays. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9:15 you are invited to join us via Zoom for Morning Prayer. If you are not able, or don’t feel comfortable joining us in-person for any of our liturgies, we invite you join via our livestream. 

The second thing I want to mention is that after the 9:30 and 11:30am Masses on Palm Sunday you are invited to come to The Basilica to receive a palm and Holy Communion. We ask you to stop at the rectory to receive the palm and then drive to the front of the school to receive communion. In regard to the other liturgies of Holy Week, I will have more information  in a couple of weeks. 

The third thing I want to mention is that a couple of weeks ago we began the 2021 Catholic Services Appeal. The CSA is an independent foundation. The money raised through the CSA helps fund many programs, services and ministries throughout our Archdiocese. I strongly support the CSA and I invite you to make a pledge of support as well. 

Finally, as always, if you have questions or concerns about anything that is happening at the Basilica, please contact me at the parish office or send me an email. My contact information is available on our parish website.

Let me close today in prayer.

 

Loving God, we ask you…

If we are ill, strengthen us.

If we are tired, fortify our spirits.

If we are anxious, help us to remember your abiding presence with us. 

Don't let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves.

Fix our eyes on You and our hearts on your grace.
Help us always to hold fast to the good, and to strive to see the good in others.

Give us generous hearts, resilient love, and enduring hope.  

In Jesus we make our prayer,

The one who suffered, died and was raised to new life,

In whom we trust these days and all days,

Amen.

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In his Lenten message of 2013, the last of his pontificate, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote about the priority of faith and the primacy of charity. On the one hand he praised a deepening of our prayer life and strengthening of our faith as good and worthy Lenten disciplines. In addition, he challenged us to witness to our faith by extending charity to others and to allow our prayer life to drive our charity. This, according to Benedict XVI is the key to a fruitful Lent and the essence of our Christian life.
 
As we embark on the Third Week of Lent we invite you to consider the following suggestions for the three Lenten disciplines of fasting, prayer and charity. These can either be in addition to our previous suggestions or you can start anew. 
 
Fasting from putting ourselves first
• Putting ourselves first as an individual and even as a nation is quite popular these days. Individualism and nationalism are celebrated by many, even by Christians despite the fact that both are antithetical to Christianity. 
• Christianity is rooted in Jesus’ willingness to give his life for others. He embraced death so we might live, all of us. This is as far removed from individualism and nationalism as one can possibly imagine. Followers of Jesus are called to do the same. In the words of St. Francis:  “…it is in giving that we receive…and in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
• Lent is the perfect time to practice fasting from putting ourselves first by putting the needs of others before our own. The way we do that is by starting with small things such as checking in on a elderly neighbor. The ultimate goal is that we embody in our own lives the sacrificial life of Jesus. 
 
Prayer: Vision Divina on the Passion of Christ
• As we try to live out our Christian calling it might be good to meditate on the Passion of Jesus. One way of doing that is through Visio Divina or Divine Seeing which is an intentional and prayerful contemplation of an image of the crucifixion. The objective is to allow God to speak through the art in a most profound way. 
• As you prepare for Visio Divina chose an image of the crucifixion and select a Passion Narrative as found in one of the Gospels.
1. Lectio: take you time to slowly read through part of one of the Passion Narratives. Be attentive to any words that speak to you and feel free to write those down.
2. Visio: after reminding yourself of the textual description of the Passion of Christ now spend some time contemplating the art you selected. What is it you see? If you are using a figurative representation ask yourself who and what is represented in the image. If non-figurative, consider the shapes, the forms, and the colors. Feel free to write down any words that come to mind.
3. Meditatio: Now let your imagination dialogue with what you see. There is always more to an image than what the eyes behold. Is a deeper story forming in your imagination? Are you experiencing any specific feelings or emotions? Again, feel free to write down any words that come to mind.
4. Oratio: Once you are content that the image has fully spoken to you it is now time to formulate a prayer response. This can be a prayer of gratitude or it might be a prayer of intercessions. Feel free to use the words you have written down in step 1 or 2.
5. Contemplatio: After praying with words it is now time to let go of all words and to quietly rest in prayer. Give yourself over to God who will mold you in prayer to be more like God.
6. What do you take away from this experience.  What might you do differently in your life, inspired by the Passion of Christ?
• An example of a semi-guided Visio Divina on the Passion of Christ may be found on the University of Portland website: https://www.up.edu/garaventa/archives/visio-divina/crucifixion.html
 
Charity
• As you fast from putting yourself first we invite you to engage in small acts of kindness, thus putting others before you. St. Thérèse de Lisieux noted that not all of us are called to live heroic Christian lives. Most of us are called to engage in many small acts of kindness done with great love. 
• Simply select a few smalls acts of kindness you will commit yourself to in the next week and beyond. This may be opening a door for someone; allowing someone to go first in line; checking in on an elderly neighbor; providing food for someone in need; offering support to someone who is struggling with loss; shoveling snow should we still get some; etc.
• There are many, many small acts of kindness we can engage in on a daily basis. As we do that we will train ourselves in the very ways of thinking and acting God asks of us as followers of Jesus Christ.
 
And as I mentioned the last two weeks, please remember to be patient with yourself and others.  Lent is neither an endurance test nor a time to prove our Christian heroism. Rather, Lent is a time to slow down and ponder what is essential to our faith and thus to our life as Christians. So please pace yourselves. Give yourself and others the necessary space. And above all be patient with yourself and others.
 
 

Art That Surrounds Us

 
 

 

 
 
 

PARISH COUNCIL NOMINATIONS
A CALL TO SERVICE


Parishioners are invited to nominate excellent candidates to represent the Learning and Christian Life areas to the Parish Council by April 15. You may nominate yourself or someone you think would thrive in one of the positions. Parish Council members serve as a collaborative advisory group to the Pastor and assist with strategic planning, creation of effective communication structures, policies and procedures. 

Parish Council members represent the voice of over 12,000 parishioners and help carry out The Basilica’s mission and vision. Share your talents and leadership to impact our community.

 

Submit the form at mary.org/pcnominations. Please call Terri Ashmore at 612.317.3471 for more information.

2020-2021 Parish Council 
Thank you to our Parish Council Representatives for their service to The Basilica community. Visit mary.org/parishcouncil to learn more about the Parish Council. 

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
MARCH/APRIL/MAY 2021
Liturgy Department p. 4
Learning Department p. 6
Christian Life Department p. 8
Development Department p. 10
St. Vincent de Paul Financial p. 12
  Update
Sacred Art News: 
  Angels Unawares                  p. 13
Parish Council Nomination form p. 14
 
 
 

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: While Christmas was very different this year because of the pandemic, there were also many blessings associated with it. Our staff did a great job of adapting, adjusting, and pivoting to help make our Christmas celebrations safe, meaningful, and reverent. They registered and checked people in for our Masses, they helped with livestreaming the Masses, and they also assisted in various liturgical ministries. I am very grateful to them—and to those volunteers—who made this year’s Christmas celebrations so special. As pastor of The Basilica, I have much to be proud of and even more to be grateful for this year. 
2. Our Parish Finances: First and foremost, I want to thank all those who made a commitment of financial support to our parish community during our financial stewardship campaign this past 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, I especially want to thank all those who contributed financially to The Basilica this past year and particularly at Christmas. Your generosity helped us surpass our income goal for December, which is a very important month for us. Thank you for your ongoing generosity. Please know of my great gratitude for your ongoing financial support of our parish. 
3. Lent: 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. During this special season I invite and encourage you to look at your calendar and to plan on participating virtually or in-person in the services and activities that will be offered at The Basilica. Visit mary.org for a list of our Lenten activities and services. 
4. Catholic Services Appeal: The 2021 Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) will begin the weekend of February 20 and 21. This yearly appeal helps support the many ministries, services, and programs within our Archdiocese. Now obviously, many people are concerned that contributions to the Archdiocese 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 support it financially and I encourage you to make a gift to support these important ministries, services, and programs. Please look for the Catholic Services Appeal information at csafspm.org.
5. Maintenance Update: This summer and fall we undertook some major tuck-pointing on the western exterior walls of The Basilica. Fortunately, this work was able to be completed before the cold weather set in. This tuck-pointing will help seal the exterior of The Basilica from water infiltration. Given the age of The Basilica, we anticipate that tuck-pointing some part of the exterior of our beautiful Basilica will be an annual maintenance item. We are blessed in that The Basilica Landmark paid for this work. 
Speaking of water, we had a minor flood on Christmas Day in the lower level of The Basilica. A sprinkler head broke in the St. Vincent de Paul storage room in the lower level of the church and the flooring and several items in the storage room as well as the carpeting in the Teresa of Calcutta Hall were saturated with water. Fortunately, we were able to turn off the water and get a company to dry vacuum the carpet and get dehumidifiers set up. Things were going well until a week later the tubing on the coffee maker in the lower level sprung a leak and the carpet was once again saturated. The same company returned to dry vacuum the carpet and set up dehumidifiers. The good news in this situation is that because of the pandemic no activities were scheduled for the lower level, and most of the cost of the repairs will be covered by our insurance. 
6. Parish Life during the Pandemic: While most of our activities, services, and ministries are being conducted virtually, we continue to ask the question of when, how, and where, we can resume some of these activities on campus. At this point, and for the foreseeable future, we are making decisions on a case by case basis. We also continue to look for new opportunities/ways to celebrate the life of our parish community. 
Clearly, we all miss the opportunities to gather and celebrate our faith. We miss gathering with others, worshipping, and praying together. We also miss the opportunities to give witness to that faith through our community activities. When we gather again as we used to—and I believe we will—it is my hope and sincere prayer that church will have a renewed meaning for all of us.
7. Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Initiative: In 2016, after the death of Philando Castile, The Basilica recognized a need to address the important issue of racism in our parish, in our lives, and in society. As we began this work, we partnered with Penumbra Theatre and Sarah Bellamy, Penumbra’s Artistic Director. Through small group conversations and workshops with staff and parishioners, Sarah created a strategic and comprehensive report for The Basilica. 
After this report was presented, it was recommended to our parish leadership that a EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Leadership Team comprised of parishioners be established. This team began meeting in September 2020. With guidance by Sarah Bellamy, they are working on parish-wide goals, strategies, etc. within The Basilica and the larger community.
One of the first things this group did was to develop a Basilica EDI Position Statement, which would set a foundation and a direction for the work of this team. This position statement describes: 
The Why – What does our faith say? What are the conditions of our community? What does the gospel say to cause us to speak out? 
The What – What does The Basilica claim; what are the beliefs of The Basilica as it relates to equity, diversity, and inclusion?
And the future state – What do we hope for the future; how do we at The Basilica see our role and the role of The Basilica, both within the parish community and within our neighborhood, city, and state?
This Position Statement was presented at the January meetings of our Parish Finance Committee and Parish Council.
As a next step the team will work with Sarah Bellamy to begin the work of identifying goals. The visioning sessions will be held early in 2021. We expect to have a draft of goals by April/May 2021. In addition, Sarah Bellamy will work with staff to develop focused curriculum for The Basilica to address identified needs. If you have any questions about this initiative, or if you are interested in working on this issue, please contact Janice Andersen at jandersen@mary.org. 
8. Live Streaming Masses: As I hope you are aware, now that our livestreaming equipment has been permanently installed, we are able to open our Sunday 9:30am Mass for people to attend. As with the 11:30am and 4:30pm Masses, we do ask people to register to attend the 9:30am Mass in the unlikely event that we need to do some contact tracing. You can register for Mass via our website or by calling the parish office if you don’t have access to a computer. At this point, we anticipate continuing with our limited weekend Mass schedule at least until Easter. We will evaluate this during Lent to see if any changes need to be made.
At the present time, members of our parish staff cover the livestreaming of our 9:30am Sunday Mass, and our noon daily Mass. Going forward, though, we will be inviting and recruiting volunteers to help with this new ministry. If this new volunteer ministry has some interest to you, or you know someone who might be good at it, please contact Travis Salisbury at tsalisbury@mary.org. 


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

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. As he contiunues our Lenten series on our collection of Stations of the Cross, Johan discusses the concepts of figurative and representational art in the context of sacred art.

Please join us on the Fridays of Lent for the celebration of the Stations of the Cross at 5:30pm (central time), either join us in person or via livestream. This year we will be praying a different version of the Stations each Friday and will meditate on different art.

 

 

 

Lenten banners hung above sanctuary

Lenten Journey: Week 2

As we embark on the Second Week of Lent we invite you to consider the following suggestions for the three Lenten disciplines of fasting, prayer and charity. These can either be in addition to last week’s suggestions or you can start anew. 
 
I recently came across a wonderful article by Fr. Jerry Kurian, a Syriac Orthodox priest. In it he proposes that our Lenten fasting and abstinence are fir naught if these do not change our hearts. Lent he says is a time to learn anew how to bend our knees, mend our hearts, and lend our hands. This is truly a beautiful description of what we are called to do during Lent and in fact, throughout our entire Christian Journey.
 

Mending our Hearts: Fasting from Gossip

  • On a number of occasions, Pope Francis has declared gossip to be rotten and poisonous. At first, he suggests that it seems to be something enjoyable and fun, like a piece of candy. But at the end, “it fills the heart with bitterness and also poisons us.” 
  • Gossip not only hurts other people and brings them down it is also contrary to our Christian way of life. As Pope Francis notes: “a loving community, a caring community, a Christian community is a community that is free from gossip.”
  • Fasting from gossip requires great attention to our feelings about others. It also requires a careful and disciplined use of language. Lent is the perfect time to “soften our hardened hearts and to silence our sharpened tongues.” 
 
Bending our Knees: Praying the Station of the Cross
  • Praying the Stations of the Cross is an ancient Christian devotion which invites us to meditate on the mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. A history of this devotion is offered in this week’s Art that Surrounds Us: https://www.mary.org/blog/202102/art-surrounds-us-stations-cross#.YDU4dNhKiJA .
  • On Fridays of Lent we pray the Stations of the Cross at 5:30pm. You can join us in person or via livestream. Each Friday we will pray a different version of the Stations of the Cross both in terms of the text and the images that are used. If you join us in person a QR code will allow you to see the images. For those at home you will see the image on your screen. 
  • If you would like to pray the Stations of the Cross at home you can use the weekly recorded livestream or you can find a narrated slideshow of our Scriptural Stations at https://vimeo.com/403088034. These stations were commissioned by The Basilica of Saint Mary from local artist Lucinda Naylor and master printer Steven Anderson to mark the second millennium of Christianity. The art was inspired by Scripture while the meditations by Johan van Parys were inspired by the art.  
 
Lending our Hands: Charitable Giving of Blood
  • During the Season of Lent we give thanks for Jesus’ willingness to die for us on the cross. This act has deep sacrificial meaning and great theological implications for all of us.  
  • May Jesus’ willingness to give his blood so that we might live inspire us to donate our blood to save the lives of others. This is particularly important during this pandemic, especially for those who have developed antibodies to the virus.
  • All blood banks are in need, now more than ever.  To donate blood you can contact the Red Cross at www.redcrossblood.org/give or the Memorial Blood Center at www.mbcherohub.club
 
 
And please remember to be patient with yourself and others.  Lent is neither an endurance test nor a time to prove our Christian stamina. Rather, Lent is a time to slow down and ponder what is essential to our faith and thus to our life as Christians. So please pace yourselves. Give yourself and others the necessary space. And above all be patient with yourself and others.
 
 

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. This week, Johan discusses the Biblical and historic roots of Stations of the Cross, and their connection to the salvific Passion of Jesus.

We are very blessed to have several sets of Stations of the Cross at The Basilica: the original stations that were carved in Italy and installed in 1926, Scriptural stations by Lucinda Naylor and Steven Anderson, which were commissioned by The Basilica of Saint Mary to mark the second Millennium of Christianity in the year 2000, and a set of traditional stations by Leo Winstead in our Saint Joseph Chapel.

Please join us on the Fridays of Lent for the celebration of the Stations of the Cross at 5:30pm (central time), either join us in person or via livestream. This year we will be praying a different version of the Stations each Friday and will meditate on different art.

 

 

 

Lenten Journey: Week 1

Lenten Journey

 

Week 1

Fasting, Praying, and Charity during the First Week of Lent
 
The ultimate goal of the Season of Lent is a conversion of heart or a turning away from our sinful ways in order to embrace the Gospel. One of the phrases used during the imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday is this: Repent, and believe in the Gospel. This is a very direct and clear statement. This is what we are called to do during Lent.
 
Each Friday of Lent we will offer you one attainable suggestion for the three Lenten disciplines of fasting, prayer and charity. You might look at these as cumulative as we journey through the season. For this First Week of Lent we invite you to: fast from noise; engage in Centering Prayer; and be a Simon of Cyrene to others.
 
Fasting from Noise
  • Our world is filled with constant noise. As individuals and as a society we have become estranged from silence. And yet it was not in the loud thunder but rather in the silent breeze that God was revealed. 
  • This Lent we might do well to make time for silence in an intentional and prayerful way. 
  • The kind of silence we pursue is not simply the absence of noise or a suspension of speech. We seek the kind of stillness where the Word of God is revealed, the voice of God is recognized and the love of God is experienced.
     
Centering Prayer
  • This type of Contemplative Prayer is a perfect companion to our attempt to fast from noise. Centering Prayer is the prayer of silence. In this deep silence, reaching beyond thoughts, words and emotions we open our mind, heart and soul to God.
  • For more information on Centering Prayer we invite you to visit:
 

Charity: Being a Simon of Cyrene for someone

  • A simple and silent way to train ourselves in acts of kindness is through the exercise of being a Simon of Cyrene. Like Simon helped to buttress Jesus’ cross we are asked to help others. 
  • Put the names of your family and/or friends into a bag. Each Sunday in Lent draw a name and keep it a secret. Try to do something kind for that person during the week without letting them know who did it. At the end of the week, you might try to guess who your “Simon of Cyrene” was.   
 
Throughout Lent please remember to be patient with yourself and others.  Lent is neither an endurance test nor a time to prove our Christian stamina. Rather, Lent is a time to slow down and ponder what is essential to our faith and thus to our life as Christians. So please pace yourselves. Give yourself and others the necessary space. And above all be forgiving.

 

 

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