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Noon Mass

Photo Exterior Event Groups gather on the front steps, Block Party

Back on the Block

For 25 years, the grounds of The Basilica have welcomed countless music fans, volunteers, and parishioners to the Basilica Block Party. This long-standing summer tradition unites and connects us to the broader Twin Cities community. For many, the Block Party serves as their first introduction to our parish.  After last year’s cancelation, we are ready to welcome our community back together for the 26th annual Cities 97.1 Basilica Block Party on Friday, September 10 and Saturday, September 11! 
 
This year we look forward to showcasing a great lineup of new artists and old favorites and to gathering together again for an amazing weekend of music, celebration, and community. For over more than two decades, people have come to the event in droves and filled our pews on subsequent weekends. Each year, more than 1,600 volunteers devote time and energy to help the event run smoothly. A dedicated committee of more than 75 people works year-round to ensure each Basilica Block Party is a fun and safe event for people of all ages. The Basilica Block Party has shaped our parish beyond just the two nights every July. Couples have met through the block party and gotten married, friendships have been formed and deepened, and families have grown up volunteering together. It has become part of the fabric of our parish and community.
 
Proceeds from the event benefit The Basilica Landmark, a separate 501(c)(3) charitable organization which preserves, restores, and advances the historic Basilica of Saint Mary. Our historic building and campus need constant care and upkeep. Decades of harsh winters and continual wear and tear take a terrible toll on the incredible structure. Over the past 25 years, the Basilica Block Party has contributed approximately $6.7 million to The Basilica Landmark. Additionally, a portion of the event proceeds supports the St. Vincent de Paul outreach ministries at The Basilica to assist our neighbors in need. 
 
We are excited to be back on the block for this important community gathering and fundraiser on September 10 and 11!
 
Visit basilicablockparty.org for ticketing information and volunteer opportunities. 
 
 
 

Noon Mass

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Noon Mass

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Noon Mass

As a community we have adapted in many ways over the past year and a half. Last year, at this time we were working to install our new livestreaming equipment and training our staff members on the process. 

We filmed our first Sunday Mass on July 26, 2020. As a member of the team, we felt a huge sense of accomplishment. We had started serving our community in an entirely new way in a matter of months. We could feel the outpouring of support and appreciation throughout our staff and parishioners. 

Each week we would see posts online from parishioners who were so thankful for the ability to participate in Mass live at home. Seeing the community engage online opened up new conversations from people all over the country and world. 

Now, a year later, we continue to work to improve the livestream experience for those watching at home—adjusting camera positions and expanding our use of the equipment to improve our processes. We have also recently installed a new desk for the livestream equipment—to house the computers and camera set-up more securely and cleanly in the church.

The livestream has become an evangelization tool to reach out to the broader community and world. We see new visitors finding Mass for the first time online and starting to engage with our community. For many it’s a first step to exploring their faith and joining the parish. We also hear from many who are homebound or in care facilities that attending Mass online has been greatly appreciated and plan to continue to participate from home.

Johan van Parys, Director of Liturgy and the Sacred Arts, said, “when it became impossible for us to gather as a community due to the pandemic we thought it extremely important to find ways to connect with the members of our parish community. If our parishioners were not able to come to us we wanted to be able to go to them. Although virtual worship is not ideal it has allowed us to stay in touch and to pray together albeit virtually. I am very grateful we were able to acquire the necessary equipment. I greatly appreciate the willingness on the part of our staff to learn new things and to pivot and adapt on short notice and with great regularity. This being said, I am so happy we now can gather again in person to celebrate the liturgy.” 

The livestream is also a great way to stay connected to The Basilica this summer. As you make your summer travel and cabin plans—you can still participate in Mass from any mobile device. We see many of our parishioners post they are attending Mass from “up north” locations this summer. 

With the support of The Basilica Landmark, we have been able to continue to envision what a virtual Basilica can be for our community. We are exploring more livestreaming capabilities to add to the church and campus. Our staff is exploring how we will work in the new hybrid reality of in-person and at-home attendance across all of our programs and ministries. 
 
As we closely monitor our viewer analytics each week and will continue to set goals for further engagement with our home attendees. The metrics provide data on what platforms work best and how to assess our communication needs going forward. 

As many parishioners will be transitioning back to in-person Mass, we look forward to welcoming you back, but recognize that the livestream has become a valued experience for many in our community. We plan to continue to livestream our Masses and services going forward and see this new ministry as an opportunity to reach beyond The Basilica walls and welcome people in new ways to our community. 

 

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