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For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. http://usccb.org/bible/readings/052718.cfm 

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity.   This celebration reminds us that the God we worship has revealed God’s Self as Creating Father, Redeeming Son and Sanctifying Spirit ---- three persons, yet one God, undivided and of one essence.   The preface for this Feast states:  “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, Holy Father, almighty and eternal God.  For with your Only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit you are one God, one Lord; not in the unity of a single person, but in a Trinity of one substance.”   While we may not be able to explain how this can be --- that it can be has been our faith since the beginnings of the Church.  

Our Gospel for this Sunday is the last four verses of Matthew’s Gospel.   In it Jesus commands his disciples:  “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  

In our first reading this Sunday, from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses reminds the people of all that God has done for them.  He then says:  “This is why you must now know, and fix in your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other.”   

Our second reading this Sunday is from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans.  It reminds us that we have received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, ‘"Abba, Father.’”  This reminds us that God is not removed from our world and our lives.  Rather, because of Jesus Christ, we are able to call on God with the intimate term of “Father.”   

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. In the seminary, we had to take a class on the Trinity.   Despite this, (or maybe because of it) at times I still struggle for words to explain/describe the Trinity.   What words would you use to explain/describe the Trinity?  
  2. In the first reading this weekend, Moses reminded the people of all God had done for them.  What has God done for you?
  3. When does it mean for you to call on God as “Father?”  

     

Sanctuary Supporting Congregation 

One of the values we strive to live every day at the Basilica is compassion.  As such we become aware of our shared brokenness, and we deeply respect all of God's people, and gratefully welcome-as we would Christ-all those who come to our door.  We embrace these people as our brothers and sister in Christ, and we share with them hospitality, love, acceptance and care.  We are a community serving the needs of our neighbors. Every day we provide basic tangible and physical resources such as sandwiches, clothing, toiletries, shoes, bus cards, help with I.D. cards and assistance with transportation.

For almost a year, our parish leadership has been learning about and discussing the possibility of The Basilica becoming a Sanctuary Supporting Congregation.  At the April meeting of our Parish Council, the decision was made to become a Sanctuary Supporting Congregation.  In making this commitment we will continue to do what we currently do for those who come to our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry, many of them from Ascension, our sister parish in North Minneapolis.  We would also continue our advocacy work and our prayerful support particularly for those who are on the margins and in need.  The major difference would be that we would be named as part of a network of congregations that are committed to supporting this work.  

It is perhaps most important to note, though, that becoming a Sanctuary Supporting Congregation is very different form being a Sanctuary Congregation.  Being a Sanctuary Congregation requires additional commitments that could put the Basilica at some legal risk.  As your pastor, I cannot do that.   Being a  Sanctuary Supporting Congregation has significantly fewer commitments and would serve as a way to continue to compassionately serve a community in need and as a way of living our faith. 

Now admittedly in today’s world, the word “Sanctuary” comes with some baggage. It may be helpful to note, though, that it shares the same root as the Latin word: “Sanctus,” which means holy.   Jesus has told us that “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, you do for me.”  Additionally, in his trip to Colombia this past September Pope Francis called on Catholics to “promote the dignity of all our brothers and sisters, particularly the poor and the excluded of society, those who are abandoned, immigrants and those who suffer violence and human trafficking,” Responding without judgement to the needs of those who come to our doors is what we are called to do as followers of Jesus Christ.  

I would encourage anyone who has questions or concerns about this issue to take them to prayer.  If, after praying about them, you would like to share them with me, please contact me.
 

Fr. John M. Bauer
Pastor
The Basilica of Saint Mary

 

For more information visit mary.org/sanctuarysupport

 

 

Hennepin Connections

HENNEPIN CONNECTIONS
In his book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, Peter Temin suggests, following decades of growing inequality, America essentially functions in a two-class system: “One small, predominantly white upper class that wields a disproportionate share of money, power, and political influence and a much larger, minority-heavy lower class that is all too frequently subject to the first group’s whims.”

Temin suggests a lot of factors contribute to American inequality. It is so deeply embedded it could take almost 20 years for one to escape poverty—with nearly nothing going wrong in one’s life. 
There is a lot of research about inequality and income disparity. While they all paint an alarming picture of our society, they also begin to draw a clear call to action for change. Research shows that two key components required to make the transformation out of poverty include education and a relationship.  

In 2013, The Basilica’s St. Vincent de Paul ministry leadership prayerfully embraced this research. We recognized, as a faith community, we can offer relationships. We looked across the street and saw the gift and needs of Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC). Ten percent of the students attending MCTC are homeless. Could we as a faith community, partner with MCTC to ensure two key components needed to make the transformation out of poverty—education and a relationship?

In 2014 we created a pilot program called Hennepin Connections: Basilica SVdP Mentoring Program with MCTC. In early May of this year, we completed our fourth year of this partnership—matching MCTC students and Basilica mentors, one-on-one. Each year we experienced profound and powerful results for both the students and the mentors.
The entire program is built on the opportunity to build relationships with students committed to their education. Relationships built through Hennepin Connections are not easy. They often bring people from vastly different cultures, experience, race and class together. This is, indeed the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of Hennepin Connections Mentoring Program.

To prepare for the mentoring partnerships, we offer resources and training for the mentors. We ground ourselves in Vincentian values and spirituality—recognizing we come to this work in humility and faith. Our mantra, as mentors, is “Accept them where they are.” We are called to listen and support, open our hearts and minds, and be willing to be changed by the experience. 
At the end of this year’s program, students and mentors shared the meaning of the experience. It was an awesome and humbling evening. Over and over we heard the importance, for the student, to have someone in their life who was not in crisis, who would listen as they vented and would offer a new network for them in their life.

In sharing his gratitude for this program, a student reflected—without this program, even if he and the mentor had been sitting next to one another at a basketball game, they never would have spoken to one another. Hennepin Connections brought two very different worlds together, and made a difference. He said, “Thanks for creating a space for healthy relationships to happen.”

One woman shared that the mentor was “the missing piece of the puzzle in my life.” Another shared that her mentor helped her find calmness when she felt frantic and overwhelmed. 
The mentors consistently shared the inspiration they received from walking with the students over the year. They felt they gained more than they gave.

The Basilica seeks to transform society through the Gospel of love—sometimes one life at a time. We can, and must, be proactive to build bridges and unite our community. If you are interested in being part of this important work, call the Christian Life office.

 

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.  
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/052018-mass-during-day.cfm  

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost.  At the time of Jesus, the feast of Pentecost was a Jewish harvest festival.   From our Christian perspective, however, this Feast celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church.   Our first reading this weekend from the Acts of the Apostles describes this scene in dramatic language.  “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in the one place together.  And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.  Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.  And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” 

The scene described above is very dramatic.  And certainly the gift of the Spirit can be manifested in this kind of dramatic way.  I would suggest, though, that more often the gift of the Spirit is seen in less dramatic ways.   This was certainly the case in our Gospel this weekend where we read of an appearance by the resurrected Jesus.  We are told that Jesus appeared to his disciples and said: “‘Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”   The subtlety and intimacy of Jesus “breathing” the Spirit on his disciples reminds us that the gift of the Spirit sometimes comes in a quiet and calming manner. 

Regardless of whether the gift of the Spirit is dramatic or subtle and peaceful, it is not given for our own use.  Rather as St. Paul says in our second reading:  “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. How have you seen the gift of the Spirit manifested?
  2. What gift(s) of the Spirit have you been given?
  3. How would you explain the Holy Spirit to someone who comes from a non-Christian background?   
     

The new BASILICA Magazine Spring issue, Our Christian Life-The Basilica’s Faith in Action, is out now, sponsored by The Basilica Landmark.  This issue explores our social justice calling at home and across the world, plus in depth features about the people and history that make The Basilica a vibrant, welcoming community. Thank you to the volunteer Magazine team for their dedication creating this publication.


www.mary.org/magazinespring2018
 

BASILICA Magazine Spring 2018 cover

 

Inside this issue: Spring 2018 

PDF iconSouth Africa: Global Witness Experience
Understanding racial reconciliation
by Kimberly Vrudny

Guidance for a faithful life
by Janice Andersen

PDF iconSt. Vincent de Paul ID Program
Helping those in need secure identification documents
by Doug Hovelson

PDF iconHomeless Jesus by Timothy P. Schmalz
An internationally recognized symbol of compassion and awareness for the homeless
by Johan van Parys, Ph.D.

Where Does Altar Bread Come From? 
by Rachel Newman

PDF iconHalf a Century of Faithful Service
Weekend Presiders at The Basilica
by Melissa Streit

PDF iconCatholic Community Foundation 25th Anniversary
A Conversation with Anne Cullen Miller
by Melissa Streit

PDF iconMass of Solidarity and Cultural Celebration
In support of migrant and refugees
by Joe Eiden

PDF iconBasilica Receives Award for Energy Efficiency
Stewardship of our historic campus
by Rick Moore

PDF iconEnvisioning The Basilica
Planning for the future
by George Norman

A look at where we started
by Heather Craig

 

The award-winning BASILICA magazine is sponsored by The Basilica Landmark, a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to preserve, restore, and advance the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations. 

BASILICA is published twice a year (spring and fall) with a circulation of 20,000. 

For advertising information please contact Peggy Jennings.

 

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. 
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051318-ascension.cfm     

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.   This Feast used to be celebrated as a holy day of obligation on the Thursday after the sixth Sunday of Easter.  Several years ago, however, most dioceses in the United States moved this celebration to the Sunday immediately following what would have been Ascension Thursday.    

Our first reading this weekend, from the Acts of the Apostles, contains the account of the Ascension.  “When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.  While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.  They said:  “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?  This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way you have seen him going into heaven.”  

The Gospel reading for this weekend is taken from the Gospel of Mark.  It too contains an account of the Ascension, (albeit briefer than the one in Acts).  It contains the clear declaration, however, that even though Jesus was taken up to into heaven he “worked with them (the disciples) and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.”  

Our second reading this weekend is taken from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians.   In it Paul prays:  “May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe.”  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. When I think of the Ascension I have this image of Jesus’ disciples staring off into the sky looking for Jesus.   Eventually, though, they had to learn to find his presence here on earth.   Where on this earth do you see signs of Christ’s presence? 
  2. Where have you found the grace of Christ at work in our world? 
  3. I love St. Paul’s use of the phrase:  “the eyes of your heart.”    What have you seen with the “eyes of your heart” that you didn’t recognize with your regular vision?  
     

Hennepin/Lyndale Exit Closures 
As summer road construction season begins, please watch for updated road closures.

Interstate 94 in Minneapolis, between Interstate 394 and Interstate 35W, is scheduled to close from 10 p.m. Friday, May 4 until 5 a.m. Monday, May 7. In addition, Hennepin Avenue/Lyndale Avenue between Dunwoody Boulevard and Oak Grove Street, near Loring Park, will be closed during the same time. 

The closures are needed to repair and paint the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, the pedestrian bridge over I-94 between the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Loring Park.  To continue repairs and painting, two additional weekend closures for the same stretch of I-94 and Hennepin Avenue/Lyndale Avenue are scheduled for May 11-14 and May 18-21. Restoring the bridge’s wooden deck will continue into August. 

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/news/18/04/20-i94ramps.html
 

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. 
https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/050618.cfm 

“I love you:” three simple words, but words that can carry many meanings.   Saying “I love you” to a spouse has one meaning, another when said to an offspring, still another when said to a friend or acquaintance.   In our Gospel for this Sunday we hear Jesus say:  “……… I also love you.”    To understand what Jesus means by these words we need to read the five words that precede them:   “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.”   The Father’s love for Jesus and Jesus’ love for the Father is not a romantic love (Eros) or the love of one friend for another (Philios), but rather an intense, absolute, and unwavering love (Agape).    

Jesus’ love for us is not dependent on our ability to recognize and respond to it, nor is conditioned on our acceptance of it.   Rather, Jesus loves us as we are, simply because we are.   As importantly, Jesus loves us with the same love with which the Father loves him.    It is an intense, absolute and unwavering love.   Because of Jesus’ love for us, we are chosen and invited to be his friends, and called to love one another.   

Of course, we always have the choice whether or not to accept Jesus’ love for us.   The question is, though, why wouldn’t we accept it?   

Our first reading for this weekend from the Acts of the Apostles shares the theme of the Gospel.  In that reading we hear Peter proclaim:  “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.  Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.”    

Our second reading for this weekend elaborates on this theme as St. John reminds us that we are called and “to love one another because love is of God.”

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. Perhaps I am deliberately naïve, but it seems to me that Jesus is eminently clear that God loves us.  Yet many people see and/or speak of God as vengeful or wrathful.   Why do you think this is?  
  2. If we truly believe that God shows no partiality, why do some people try to restrict God’s love?        
  3. What prevents us from loving one another?   

     

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2).

We live in a world rife with uncertainty, fear and disorder. It seems that every day we wake up to another crisis—humanitarian, political, or environmental. How do we as Catholics live out our faith amidst this chaos?

Since the beginning of this Parish Council year, your parish leaders and representatives have been struggling with this very question. How will The Basilica of Saint Mary serve its parishioners and those in our community who are most vulnerable?

An issue that has been heavy on our hearts and minds is immigration. For more than a decade, the US immigration debate has been dominated by the legislative battle over comprehensive immigration reform. Recently, the debate has shifted to the scope of the President’s discretion on how to enforce the law, who to target, and mechanisms for remaining in this country. 

“According to the US Department of Homeland Security, from the start of January through the end of September, the number of immigrants seized in the interior of the country rather than at the border—many of them wrenched from their families and communities—increased by 42% compared to the same period in 2016. Immigration arrests of people with no criminal convictions nearly tripled compared to approximately the same time in 2016” (Human Rights Watch 12/5/17). Beyond the politics, our faith directs us to focus on the principles of the responsibilities and rights of people. 

In the Old Testament, God tells us to have special care for outsiders: “You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; have the same love for him as for yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt” (Lv. 19:33-34).
The New Testament tells Matthew’s story of Joseph and Mary’s escape to Egypt because King Herod wanted to kill their infant. Jesus himself lived as a refugee because his native land was not safe. 

Jesus reiterates the Old Testament command to love and care for the stranger: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35). 

At the end of World War II, Europe faced an unprecedented migration of millions of people seeking safety. In response, Pope Pius XII wrote Exsul Familia (The Emigre Family), placing the Church squarely on the side of those seeking a better life by fleeing their homes (USCCB).

The US Sanctuary movement began in the early 1980s to provide safety for Central American refugees fleeing civil conflict. Since then the movement has grown across the country and today over 30 congregations in the Twin Cities, suburbs, and greater Minnesota have committed to being either a Sanctuary or Sanctuary Supporting Congregation. Their commitment includes safety, advocacy, financial, physical, and spiritual support. 

For years, The Basilica has partnered with Ascension, our largely immigrant, sister-parish. We also provide aid and immigration counseling to anyone who comes to our doors. This fall, a group of Basilica parishioners (including myself) traveled to Tucson, AZ, where the Sanctuary movement began and to the US/Mexico Border to learn more about real people facing deportation. 

The Parish Council has had many conversations about formally joining the other downtown congregations as a Sanctuary Supporting Congregation. We plan to hold information sessions for parishioners to learn more about the Sanctuary Movement and to ask questions about how declaring ourselves a Sanctuary Supporting Congregation could impact The Basilica. I hope that you will join us for these important conversations. Please watch for announcements on dates and times. 

Feel free to reach out to me or any other Parish Council members with questions.  Visit mary.org/parishcouncil for a list of contacts.

 

Mary Gleich-Matthews
Parish Council Chair
The Basilica of Saint Mary

 

JANUARY 28, 2018

 

This summer and fall scaffolding will go up and tuck-pointing will begin on the brick surrounding The Basilica’s dome. Tuck-pointing, or repointing as the process is now better known, involves renewing the external part of masonry mortar joints. Over time, weather and decay cause voids in the joints between bricks, allowing the undesirable entrance of water. As we know all too well at The Basilica, water entering through these voids can cause significant damage. 

You might be thinking, “Didn’t we just repoint?” And the simple answer is yes, in 2016 we repointed the bell towers, and in 2017 work was done on the sides and front of the building. 

Others may be wondering, “how often are we going to need to repoint?” What we know now is that to keep the water out we must work on sections of the building every year as part of our ongoing maintenance. We have plans to repoint sections of the church from 2018-2022. And, like many historic buildings and churches in Europe have found, by the time all sections have been repointed it might be time to start back on one of the sections that was repointed earlier.

Repointing is not a glamourous project, but it is so very important to keep The Basilica free of water, which we know is essential for all current and future restoration projects. It is a project at the very heart of The Basilica Landmark’s mission, which is to preserve, restore, and advance the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations. 

An ongoing project like this can seem daunting. But after more than a decade as a staff member, I have seen first hand this community’s passion and support to keep The Basilica of Saint Mary standing strong as a beautiful architectural landmark and as a building of hope for all those that walk through our doors.  

In 2009 we started what is now The Basilica Landmark Annual Fund. Our goal was to raise $30,000, which at the heart of the recession seemed like an impossible task. However, due to incredible community support, we raised more than $40,000 the very first year, and last year we raised nearly $300,000.

In the past decade, The Basilica Landmark has invested more than $11 million in our campus facilities. In 2018, with your help, we will ensure the stability, accessibility, and functionality of our beloved Basilica building by repointing the church dome, rebuilding the south Basilica school entrance, and upgrading our church sound system and lighting. 

Our century old building stands magnificently in the Minneapolis skyline, but requires constant care to endure for generations to come. Help preserve our shelter with a gift to The Basilica Landmark Annual Fund. Contact Stephanie Bielmas for more information.

Your donation ensures that the building of hope can continue to serve as a haven for all who come. 

BASILICA LANDMARK BALL: ILLUMINO 
SATURDAY, MAY 5, 5:00-11:30PM
SOLAR ARTS BUILDING
Join us for an evening celebrating the Building of Hope at the Solar Arts Building in NE Minneapolis with dinner, dancing, and fantastic giving opportunities benefitting The Basilica Landmark. To purchase tickets, visit thebasilicalandmark.org. For questions or sponsorship opportunities, contact Holly Dockendorf.

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