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Greetings once again from The Basilica of Saint Mary. I hope this message finds you and your family continuing to stay well during these challenging times.
Today I want to talk with you about where we are at currently and the challenges that we face as we move forward at The Basilica. With the rise of the Delta variant, I want to once again urge people to wear masks when you come for liturgies or other events at The Basilica.
At The Basilica, we have many children under the age of 12, who cannot be vaccinated yet, as well as many people with underlying health conditions. Given this, I think that asking people to wear a mask is one of the best things we can do to ensure their continued health and well being.
While it is heartening for me to see so many people back at The Basilica after many months, I want to make sure we are continuing to make The Basilica a safe place for them to be. As I have mentioned previously, in welcoming people back to worship, one of the challenges we face is resuming, renewing, and in some cases rebuilding our liturgical ministry teams. If you have been involved in our liturgical ministry and not been contacted yet, or if you are interested in becoming involved please contact Travis Salisbury.
As always, if you are not able, or don’t feel comfortable joining us in-person for any of our liturgies, we invite you join them via livestream. We will continue to livestream our daily Noon Mass and 9:30am Mass on Sundays. We are also looking for volunteers to help with this, so if you are interested in volunteering, please contact Mae Desaire.
On another topic, as part of the preparation for the upcoming Archdiocesan Synod, I want to invite you to participate in small group discussions to share your thoughts/ideas about the future of our Archdiocese. These groups will meet both on campus and remotely. You can register for one of these groups on our parish website. If you would like more information please contact Cathy Edwards in our parish office.
We are also looking for volunteers in our Faith Formation program and our R.C.I.A. program. You can call the Learning Office for more information about what this involves. During the coming weeks, we will be looking at bringing back on line more of our ministries. I will keep you informed as this happens.
Finally, I want to thank everyone for your ongoing financial support for The Basilica. As we begin to resume more activities on our campus, your financial support will be critical as we resume the many ministries, services and programs that are at the heart of our Basilica community. As your pastor, I want to thank you for your ongoing generosity. Please know it is greatly appreciated.
In closing, please know that as we move forward, our primary concern, as always, will be the safety and security of those who come to our campus. I will continue to keep you informed as we move forward into our new normal--whatever that may be. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns about these changes I invite you to contact me at the parish office. My contact information is available on our parish website.
One final thing, tickets are still available for our Basilica Block Party this weekend.
Let me close today in prayer.
Loving God, it seems that we turn to you most easily when we need comfort, consolation and hope.
And so we come before you today, knowing that you are waiting for us, to shelter us in the shadow of your wings. In you may we find refuge and relief.
Dear God, these uncertain days tempt us to lose hope. “Pandemic” is a frightening word, and we can easily feel confused and helpless. And so we look to you to lead and guide us, and to keep any anxiety at bay. Strengthened by your love, help us to choose to let your peace reign in us.
Good and gracious God, help us also to be your compassion and love to those who are suffering and in need of our care. Help us to be generous and stay in contact with the forgotten and lonely. May our prayers and support be with our world and national leaders, scientists, health care providers, and all who are instrumental in overcoming this crisis.
We look to you O God, of hope, may your love blanket the earth, as you teach us to live more generously each day. We pray this through Christ our Lord.
News and Resources
Learn more about Angels Unawares through one of our many video presentations.
In our 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. In this episode, Johan tells us about some of the specific migrants and refugees depicted in Timothy Schmalz's Angels Unawares sculpture.
The Basilica is hosting the Angels Unawares throughout August on our front plaza along Hennepin Avenue. Angels Unawares depicts 140 almost life size migrants from all times and places aboard a boat. It was created by Canadian Catholic sculptor Timothy Schmalz, who also created our Homeless Jesus sculpture.
The original sculpture was dedicated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square on September 29, 2019, the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. The name Angels Unawares comes from Hebrews 13:2, which admonishes Christians to “show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."