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Our new outdoor banner shares the powerful words of Pope Francis.
“We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every Life.”
Pope Francis – On the Death of George Floyd, June 3, 2020
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. Johan films this week's installment from one of the two reconciliation chapels that flank our Saint Joseph Chapel in the lower level of The Basilica. Here, our sinful human condition meets divine grace. Please join us for a socially distant Sacrament of Reconciliation on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am.
Recently I was able to coordinate our annual young adult retreat. In more normal times, we typically go away for a weekend in the fall. In our present situation we made the retreat a day-long experience rather than a weekend. How different it was to be in a room together spread out and masked up! The ability to be together in person, reflect on our lives and enjoy some of the beautiful trails at the retreat center was a great blessing (and it was the weekend before snow started falling, so the right time!)
One of our materials on prayer featured the life of the Trappist monk Thomas Merton from the 1960s. It was enlightening to reflect on his life as a young adult, and spiritual experiences that led him to desire personal growth in faith and holiness. His experience ultimately led him to a religious community, but all of us could relate to reflecting on where we are in our lives with faith, jobs, relationships, and our present world still dealing with this pandemic and so much unrest. How has God called each of us with our own gifts and talents to help bring about God’s Kingdom?
One of Merton’s most famous quotes came from a mystical experience he had on a fairly random day in Louisville, Kentucky. I was reminded of it at the retreat and it has stayed with me since then. Merton wrote: “In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world. . . There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”
Merton connects this experience in part to the Incarnation of Jesus. One of the most precious realities of God’s becoming a human being is that we are called to relationship with God and each other in a new way. Wherever we are and whoever we are with, “they are mine and I theirs,” as he put it.
We are just coming off one of the most divisive presidential elections in our country’s history; we may still not know who won the election. No matter the result, a significant part of the country will be unhappy with the result. One almost constant temptation will be to demonize those with whom do not agree. While we will not all have the same experience of Thomas Merton on that street corner, what if we could “wake from a dream of separateness” and try to see those around us “shining like the sun”? In what ways are we being called to bring about more civility, peace and connection in a world that remains so broken and fragmented? Perhaps our prayer this week can be to ask God for that wisdom to be aware of those opportunities, and the courage to act with grace and mercy.
Coordinator of Young Adult, Young Family, and Marriage Ministry
The Basilica of Saint Mary
I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these very challenging times.
As I mentioned earlier, I am happy to report that Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization Units has been installed in the Church and the Saint Cecilia room. These units will purify the air in The Basilica.
Additionally, the tuck pointing on the exterior western wall of The Basilica continues. This work was interrupted by the snow and cold in October, but it has now been resumed, and hopefully will be completed within the next week or so. We are very blessed and fortunate that both of these projects are being paid for by The Basilica Landmark.
On another topic, I’d like to invite you to join us either live or via live stream for Mass on Thanksgiving morning. Mass that day will be at 10:30am, and with all of our liturgies we ask that you pre-register if you wish to attend in person.
We have begun working on Christmas at The Basilica. No, we haven’t started playing Christmas music, but barring any unforeseen issues or circumstances, we anticipate having our usual schedule of Masses for Christmas.
We are also developing a combination lottery/pre-registration system to accommodate the numbers of people who want to attend Mass during the Christmas season. We hope to have this lottery/pre-registration system available for people to preview by the end of November. However you won’t be able to sign up until the first week of December. We also plan on live-streaming several of our Mass during the Christmas season. I will have more details for you about our Christmas schedule in the next couple of weeks.
Finally, I want to thank all of those who have made a commitment of financial support to our Basilica Annual Fund. Your contributions to the Annual Fund allow us to offer the many programs, services and ministries that are at the heart of our Basilica Community.
If you have already made a commitment of reoccurring financial support for our Basilica community, please know of my gratitude. I hope you will continue it and if possible increase it. Your commitment of financial support, no matter how small or how large, enables us to continue to do those things that fulfill our vision here at The Basilica.
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.
Loving God, Your desire is for our wholeness and well being.
We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time.
We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened.
We ache for ourselves and our neighbors, standing before an uncertain future.
We pray: may love, not fear, go viral.
Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good.
Help us to practice social distancing and reveal to us new and creative ways to come together in spirit and in solidarity.
Call us to profound trust in your faithful presence,
You, the God who never abandon us. Amen.
November 11, 9:00am
Join our parish online gathering. An opportunity to talk about different aspects of our parish life with Fr. Bauer.
November 15, 1:30pm
This service is characterized by mantra-like singing of simple, beautiful songs.
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