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The Catholic bishops of the United States are pleased to offer once again to the Catholic faithful Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, our teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics. This statement represents our guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy. We urge our pastors, lay and religious faithful, and all people of good will to use this statement to help form their consciences; to teach those entrusted to their care; to contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue; and to shape political choices in the coming election in light of Catholic teaching. The statement lifts up our dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens with rights and duties as participants in the civil order.
Faith, Justice and Healing Series
Join us for these compelling, powerful programs that invite us to listen, to learn, and to accompany those who have experienced harm. The Basilica of Saint Mary is committed to inclusivity and building a culture where all people feel valued, welcome, integrated, and included.
Please register for each event separately, free of charge.
Ministering On The Margins: A Conversation with Monsignor Chad Gion
Sunday, November 13, 11:00am, Lower Level
Monsignor Gion serves as the pastor of the Catholic Indian Mission in Sioux County, North Dakota. The Catholic Indian Mission (CIM) consists of three parishes, the St. Bernard Mission School, and Keya Childcare Center on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in south central North Dakota. Monsignor Gion organized a contingent of boarding school survivors from North Dakota to attend the Papal visit in Canada during his visit July 2022. Come to be part of this powerful and relevant conversation about ministering to the sacred people of North Dakota.
A Place at the Table: African-Americans on the Path to Sainthood
Film Screening with Message from Filmmaker
Saturday, November 19, 1:00pm, Lower Level
November is Black Catholic History Month. Did you know there are no African-American Saints formally recognized within the Catholic Church? But that could soon change! There are six incredible black men and women who are on the path to Canonization. The Catholic Church is starting to recognize their impact and may soon name any or all of them Saints. It's time to hear their stories. Come together to learn about their stories and recognize the important contributions our African-American brothers and sisters have contributed to our faith.
Here I am, Lord: Journeying Towards Healing through Listening and Truth-Telling
Saturday, December 3, 9:00am, Lower Level
This Advent, we invite all our community to engage in an important listening experience - opening our minds and hearts to the realities of our fellow parishioners of color. Dr. Yohuru Williams will ground us in our Catholic Faith, guide us in understanding the history and context for our day and invite us to embrace the stories of our brothers and sisters. We will hear the honest and vulnerable stores of our brothers and sisters of color at The Basilica of Saint Mary and enter into a safe space of sharing in small groups, as we process all we have heard through restorative circles.
For more information, click HERE.
The Basilica is a community rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Join us to learn more about our call to respond to the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
I’m honored to continue this journey of faith together.
The great St. Irenaeus said centuries ago that the glory of God is the human person fully alive. A fitting corollary to this is that a parish fully alive also glorifies God. Whether as individuals or as communities, God intends for us to flourish and grow. One of the realities that has most impressed me about The Basilica of Saint Mary is the balanced approach to the life, mission, and culture of the parish. This speaks to the care, intentionality, and thoughtfulness that has been applied to how the life of our parish is ordered and lived. When we look to Scripture, there are many dimensions of our faith that Jesus teaches are essential. Correspondingly, these same dimensions should also be nurtured and grown in communities of faith. I would like to highlight four dimensions of our Catholic faith which are on full display this fall at The Basilica and which invite us to take a “discipleship inventory” —places where Jesus might be calling us to enter more deeply into our faith. These four are: praise and worship of God; fellowship; faith formation and learning; and stewardship.
In the Catholic tradition, the highest form of prayer is doxology or praise. In the beginning of Luke’s Gospel, the shepherds are among the first to hear the good news of the birth of the Christ child as the Angels praise and glorify God. In the Eucharistic liturgy, we are invited to enter into a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the gift of Jesus Christ. I begin here because the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith—the greatest gift given to us down through the ages. The celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy is marked by great beauty and reverence at The Basilica and this invites us to raise our hearts in worship of the living God. Our new icon of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks—invites us to join the saints in their perfect praise of God. The liturgy is not a static reality. Rather, its dynamism transforms our hearts and calls us beyond ourselves and beyond the doors of our church to see and serve Christ in our neighbor. If you have been away from The Basilica during the pandemic, I invite you back—come and experience the dynamic love of God in-person.
Jesus teaches often in the Gospels about koinonia, which is translated as Christian fellowship or communion. In its essence, the Catholic Church is a communion of disciples united by the Holy Spirit and one in Christ. Given this reality, all parishes, including The Basilica, are called to provide opportunities where we can enter into and strengthen our fellowship. This begins again with the Eucharist and flows from there to the entire life of the parish. Here at The Basilica, there are so many opportunities to deepen our fellowship with one another in Christ. In early October, on a glorious autumn day, we blessed the animals and celebrated the great lover of all creation, St. Francis. The joy was palpable. Fall also provided the opportunity to celebrate Octoberfest last Sunday and November 5 we will host the Dia De Muertos event. Join us for one of the many fellowship events this fall at The Basilica, including coffee and doughnuts on Sundays.
Before commissioning his disciples to continue his saving work, Jesus taught them for three years about God, God’s love, and how they (and we) are to live as disciples. One of the central teachings of Jesus is that we are called to serve and help heal those who have been wounded. This has also been a consistent teaching of Pope Francis who has likened the Church to a field hospital. He has called Catholics to a culture of encounter and accompaniment. Sadly, some of our sisters and brothers have been wounded by clergy or have suffered wounds inside the Church. Much works needs to be done to bring greater justice and healing to those who have been wounded by the Church and in our broader society. I would highlight two opportunities later this fall to enter into the wounds experienced by our brothers and sisters—Ministering on the Margins with Monsignor Chad Gion and a very important event December 3 on racial justice and healing entitled, Here I am Lord – Journeying Toward Healing through Listening and Truth-Telling. These are vital programs which invite us to listen, to learn, and to accompany those who have experienced harm. These events are part of our Faith, Justice, and Healing series which includes other important events as well.
Lastly, but not least in importance, Jesus calls us repeatedly in the Gospels to be good and generous stewards of the gifts we have been given by God. Stewardship for disciples is a way of life lived faithfully throughout the year. Fall is often the season in Catholic parishes to reflect on Christian stewardship and the invitation to give back to God. On the first weekend of October, I highlighted in my homily the example of my father who has been a generous steward throughout his life. This approach to stewardship should not be the exception but the norm for Christians. The Basilica Fund Appeal is now launched and I would ask you to prayerfully reflect on your gifts and blessings, the needs and opportunities of the parish—both of which are robust— and where your generosity can help us prepare for the vibrant future to which God is calling The Basilica community.
These four dimensions of our Catholic faith outlined above provide us with a spiritual inventory as disciples—how am I doing as a follower of Jesus? This is a perennial question for all of us as we continue our journey of faith together.
We invite you to watch "The Letter. A message for our Earth" a new documentary about Pope Francis' Encyclical Letter "Laudato si'" and the care of our common home. The Basilica will be offering future events to discuss the film and its message. If you would like to get involved in future planning, contact Janice.
Join us for the dedication of the new Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Icon Sunday, October 9, at the 9:30 & 11:30am Masses.
(Indigenous Peoples' Day Oct 10)
Daughter of the Americas,
Lily of the Mohawks,
Witness to the Love of God,
your life was marked by courage and devotion
in the face of adversity and pain.
Through your intercession,
may our lives be modeled after yours,
filled with strength and humility,
with hope and peacefulness,
and above all, with a profound love of Jesus
as we follow in his footsteps
on our journey to the Heavenly Jerusalem
We ask this through Christ our Lord.