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My son started eighth grade a few weeks ago. Like all students, his school life was halted by the pandemic. Activities, sports, and even just spending time with friends became challenging at a critical time in his social and emotional development. He now seems a bit reluctant and has asked more than once, “Can’t we just Zoom it?”

Thankfully many schools are returning to a more normal routine this year, but it causes me to wonder what normal even is. After over two years, our lives and habits have changed, perhaps in ways we don’t even fully realize yet. I have tried to intentionally prioritize our recommitments over the past year, balancing our needs for health and safety with our needs for community and relationship.

My family recommitted quickly and wholeheartedly to The Basilica. Our volunteer roles here are fulfilling, we know we’re needed, and we feel an even deeper sense of belonging and purpose as the parish community rebuilds post-pandemic. We came back as soon as The Basilica re-opened to greet people at Mass, as perhaps it was the only in-person social contact some people would have all week. My son and I learned how to livestream liturgies so people could participate remotely. We pick up doughnuts on Saturdays, knowing how much people enjoy the fellowship and sweets after Mass.

Despite the challenges of these times, we are more committed than ever to The Basilica's mission to be a welcoming and inclusive community united by God's grace on a shared journey of faith. We are a community; we live out our Christian discipleship together through worship and a wide variety of ministries. The Basilica has an important role in the life of our hurting city.

Volunteers empower and invigorate every Basilica ministry at all levels. The Basilica’s programs, ministries and outreach are more fruitful and impactful due to the dedicated support of our volunteers. But we always need more. Not just to strengthen and grow our ministries, but to also deepen your Christian discipleship. “Christ has no body but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours…Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” Teresa of Avila

We have over 120 different volunteer ministries at The Basilica, so there is truly something for everyone. Please contact me at mstreit@mary.org or 612.317.3417 or find me at the back of church after Mass to discuss how you can be more involved at The Basilica.

 

Several weeks ago I asked Dr. Johan Van Parys about this post-Easter trip to Europe. He told me about his visit to see his family in Belgium—long overdue, given the challenges of Covid. He also described his amazing trip to Rome in conjunction with his work with PAVM – Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums. He conveyed that one of the highlights of his time in Rome was the opportunity to give a talk to hundreds of people in the Sistine Chapel. I found the title of his talk illuminating – “Beauty that Saves.” I am thankful indeed that a man of Johan’s talent, faith, and passion for the sacred liturgy and the arts continues to serve our community at the Basilica.

In the Catholic philosophic tradition we refer to truth, goodness, and beauty as the transcendentals because we believe that our creator God is the source of every good gift including the sublime gifts of truth, goodness, and beauty. Through our contemplation of these realities we are able to transcend our finite nature and both glimpse and touch the infinite nature of God. Jesus Christ – true God and true man – is the embodiment of the transcendentals, as we see refracted through his life, the goodness of God, the truth of God, and the beauty of God. Certainty, in our modern day we see little focus on the transcendentals because we have eclipsed the divine horizon of God and thus, attendantly, those attributes most closely associated with God.

The transcendentals can literally save us because they can wrench us away from the fixation and lure of this world – fixation on the immanent – and pull is into a realm where we are able to see things as they truly are – life, love, and beauty, from God’s perspective. Truth, goodness, and beauty move us one step closer to the Lord of life and the God who saves us. Like St. Augustine and the great mystics of the Catholic tradition, how could we not desire to move closer to a God who is the source of all life – all that is noble, holy, and lovely?

But how does this happen – how can truth, goodness, and beauty offer salvation from God? It is the truth of God’s saving love and mercy that has transformed sinners and made saints. Pope Francis calls this the first proclamation of the Gospel – the saving love and mercy of God. I have experienced this in my own life – where God’s personal and transformative love can then move me to share this message of love with others. Secondly, I remember fondly attending the beatification of Mother Theresa of Calcutta when I was a young priest. The crowds poured out over St. Peter’s square on a cloudless October day. We were there because we were inspired by and wanted to pay tribute to the goodness of God that was so powerfully manifest through this diminutive nun. And beauty saves because beautiful art – wether paintings, music, architecture, or literature opens us up to the mystery of the human longing for something that can only be satisfied by a transcendent and loving God who made us to be complete in his divine embrace.

Lastly, I warmly welcome those who are with us in Minneapolis and here at the Basilica from around the world who are part of PAVM – the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, including the Vatican delegation. You are all very welcome here at the Basilica.

As your new pastor at the Basilica, I am proud to join a community who has embraced the truth of God’s inclusive love, the beauty of creation and the arts, and the goodness of God, to which we are called to live in our wounded and waiting world.

Peace,

Fr. Daniel 

 

 

This Sunday, Archbishop Hebda will preside at the 9:30 Mass. Following Mass there will be a procession to the new Our Lady of the Rocks painting for a brief dedication. This impressive piece of art is a wonderful addition to The Basilica permanent art collection and exemplifies our commitment to the arts in our community.

 

Our Lady of the Rocks

Our Lady of the Rocks
Tempera Grassa on Panel
71. 5”  x   71 “
Mark Balma 2022

 

From the Artist: Mark Balma

The painting is a work that I have contemplated for many years. It is painted on a gesso wood panel using an earth 15th century painting technique called tempera grassa using egg, oil/resin and dry white wine. ( Lacrime Christi) I learned this technique from the Italian Master Pietro Annigoni of Florence with whom I studied portraiture and fresco for several years.

The painting is inspired from the Song of Songs, “ My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely”

The painting incorporates traditional colors used by Leonardo Da Vinci. The Virgin’s blue mantle is actually genuine Lapis Lazuli from Florence. The setting of the painting comes from the rocky wooded landscape behind Assisi. Dave Laurent from the Basilica helped join and glue the panel and Fr. Bauer Blessed the white wine used in the grinding of the colors. 

It is certainly an honor to contribute a work to the Basilica, as my family have been members of the church since their immigration from Italy to Minneapolis in the 1950’s.


 

The painting was donated to The Basilica by Jack and Cathy Farrell

 

Saint Joseph Chapel

Noon Masses September 5-9

All Mass recordings can be found at Mass Recordings.

 

Monday, September 5
Labor Day 10am Mass

Tuesday, September 6

Wednesday, September 7

Thursday, September 8

Friday, September 9

On behalf of the 2022-2023 Parish Council, warm greetings to all. This is my first column as Parish Council Chair. What an honor it is to assume this role! As you may have read in a previous bulletin, I am a retired school administrator in our Catholic schools, a wife, mother of three adult children, and grandmother of 6. I have many interests including quilting, biking, reading and travelling. My faith has always been central to me since I was a small child.

This summer our Parish Council Vice Chair, Steven Kim, and our Secretary, My Lam, and I have spent time together getting to know one another and discussing our hopes for Parish Council this year. Learn more about the 2022-2023 Parish Council members at mary.org/parishcouncil.

The Parish Council has not met in-person for a while due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, we will launch the year with an in-person mini-retreat scheduled for the evening of September 28. The focus of the retreat will be reconnecting in faith and selecting our goals for the year. We would very much like to know what you, our community members, hope that the Parish Council can accomplish and support this year so that your thoughts can be included in our discernment during the retreat. Please email your thoughts to basilica@mary.org before our September 28 meeting.

Last spring, the Parish Council completed a revised governance document outlining the roles and responsibilities of the Council. They also passed a list of potential action items for the Council. This work and the thoughts of our community will guide our discussions and conclusions on the 28th. Many thanks to our past Parish Council for this work and to Past Council Chair, Katelin Richter Davis, for her leadership in this area and throughout the past year.

As part of our long-term financial picture, a Long-Term Financial Planning/Budget Committee led by Trustee, Tom Paul, has been working hard for several months. As the name suggests, this group aims to create a five-year plan to align our resources with our needs and wants as a parish. More information on this work will be forthcoming.

The Parish Council welcomes Fr. Daniel Griffith as our newly installed Pastor and Rector! What a truly beautiful installation Mass and reception. Much credit to our parish staff and, of course, Archbishop Hebda, for their many contributions in creating this event. We look forward to Fr. Daniel’s leadership and to his interactions with us at our mini retreat.

Our parish is very large, and we are looking for ways to connect with as many of you as we can in community, as volunteers, in worship and as children of God. There are a wide variety of ways that the Basilica serves our community and a wide variety of ways that we can serve the Basilica. Let’s walk together in faith.

May your days be richly blessed.

 

Jill Reilly
Parish Council Chair
The Basilica of Saint Mary

 

 

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