For 21 years, The Basilica has strengthened the community by building affordable homes with Habitat for Humanity. This year, over the course of the “work camp” week, 75 volunteers helped on the project from pounding nails and laying boards to preparing food. 

Throughout the past two decades, The Basilica team has taken part in building a variety of home types including townhomes, duplexes, and single-family dwellings. Volunteers who participate in the “work camp” are treated to complimentary breakfast and lunch each day, provided by generous donors, and many volunteers who return year after year. 

Basilica teams have been instrumental in helping families achieve their dream of affordable home ownership. Basilica volunteers have also played a significant role in assisting to re-build areas of north Minneapolis that were damaged by the devastating tornado which hit the region several years ago. 

In addition to the “work camp” week, each month a crew comes together to work on a home. This dedicated group has worked on homes in both the east and west metro areas and has also pitched-in at the Habitat ReStore in New Brighton. 

Consider this project for a great opportunity to serve with your friends and family in the years to come. For more information please contact Julia

Photo provided by: 
Evan VanHoever
Photo provided by: 
Ben Caduff

The Basilica of Saint Mary proudly releases the Spring 2016, Year of Mercy issue of the Basilica Magazine. 

BASILICA Magazine Spring 2016

Inside this issue:
•    Corporal Works of Mercy: Making peace in the Year of Mercy by Kelli Kester
•    Sheltering the Homeless: Meet two who really call The Basilica ‘home’ by Shane Kitzman
•    Feed the Hungry: The Basilica Meals on Wheels ministry nourishes bodies, spirits by Charlene Roemhildt
•    So They Will Not Thirst: A local family’s commitment to the Pare people of northern Tanzania by Teri Mach Ryan
•    A Renaissance of Structure and Soul: Planning The Basilica’s future by P. Joshua Hill
•    Open Wide Your Doors: The Holy Year of Mercy by Ann T. Dieman-Thornton
•    Learning and Leading: Teaching the faith year after year by Carolina Branson
•    Good Souls Working for Good Soles: The Basilica’s Shoe Ministry by Ann T. Deiman-Thornton
•    Surrounded by Those We Love Most: Comforting the sick by Stacy Glaus
•    Finding Humanity: Visiting the imprisoned for three decades by Erik Hane
•    Setting the Stage: A choir for more than just voices by Stacy Glaus
•    With Honor and Celebration: Laying the dead to rest by Shelby Andersson
•    A Renovated Rectory by Susan Hansen


The award-winning BASILICA magazine is sponsored by The Basilica Landmark, a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is the preservation and restoration of the historic Basilica of Saint Mary and it campus. BASILICA is published twice a year (spring and fall) with a circulation of 20,000. 

For advertising information please contact Leah Fogelberg at 612.317.3432.


Sharing Music and Art within the Community

This past week 30 students participated in the first all-day Basilica Music and Arts Immersion Camp for 4th-8th graders. The program is a shared ministry between The Basilica of Saint Mary and its sister parish the Church of the Ascension that immerses children of diverse abilities and cultures into choral singing, world music, and the arts. The full day camp is a broadened version of a previous half-day Choir Camp, which ran from 2004-2014. The Camp program is part of The Basilica’s commitment to bringing music and art to the community we serve while sharing the message of Christianity. 

Throughout the week the children experienced a variety of activities including sessions learning to play homemade Taiko drums with instructor Tor Johnson. The drums are crafted from tires and packing tape to create an enormous deep sound on which the children enthusiastically pounded out new rhythms. The children also learned musical pieces on Orff instruments (small xylophones) and hand bells. During the week they diligently rehearsed a musical of “David and the Giants” for the two concluding afternoon performances for family and friends Friday, July 29, 2016.  

The busy schedule included field trips to the Walker Art Museum, a backstage tour of the State Theater, and a trip to Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts. The week long camp was lead by Basilica staff members Teri Larson, the Director of Music along with Ellen Meier, Walter Tambor, Christopher Stroh, Janet Grove, and Ramond Mitchell along with support from many other staff members and volunteers. 

Basilica Music and Arts Immersion Camp 2016
Photo provided by: 
Jonathan Laansma
Basilica Music and Arts Immersion Camp
Photo provided by: 
Ramond Mitchell

On a recent immersion trip to the U.S./Mexico border, a team of Basilica parishioners learned first hand about the realities of life in the shadows for those crossing our border seeking opportunity.  Hear about their experiences in the Arizona desert and Nogales, Mexico.  Parishioners share the stories about what they saw, who they met, and what they learned in a short presentation at 11:00 am on June 12.

Faced with fighting and uncontrolled violence, men, women and children are choosing to flee their homes in Central America only to face new risks as they attempt to cross the desert and the border.  If they make it, they face new dangers of deportation and forced family separations.  What does our faith call us to do? 


As part of our ongoing strategic planning process for ministries and programs,Basilica  parish leadership is conducting research to elicit perspectives of parishioners.  In the next few weeks, you may receive an email from Fr. Bauer asking you to complete an online survey or be asked to participate in a focus group.  Thank you in advance for your participation. Your responses will help shape future plans for our parish.

Our goal is to gather information to qualify and quantify engagement in our parish.  We will look inward with the help of our current parishioners, and also reach out to potential parishioners.  We want to better understand what the needs and barriers to engagement are with these groups. 

Timeline for this research begins in June continues through the summer.  The Basilica last conducted a parish survey in 2010, followed by a strategic planning initiative in 2013.  Questions?  Contact Terri Ashmore

Aztez dancers led a Procession of Nations to open a celebration of Evening Prayer for Archbishop Hebda on May 12 at the Basilica. 

Knocking on the Basilica doors to request entry, Archbishop Hebda was greeted warmly and invited into our community by our Pastor, Rev. John M. Bauer.  The Archbishop's homily rooted us in our faith, and he encouraged us to place human beings over posessions, and have compassion for all. He challenged us to live our faith with outreach to those most in need and his remarks received enthusiastic and sustained applause.  US Senator Amy Klobuchar offered Minnesota cultural tips with humor, and shared our Minnesota traditions of action and service, along with her own story of meeting Pope Francis.  

With inspiring tradional and world music in many languages, words of welcome were also shared by delegations of school children, civic leaders, clergy of all faiths, and Catholic activitists.  Speakers from Native Americans - First Nations including representatives of the Anishinabe and Dakota, shared their welcome and wisdom in word,with drums and song.  They were joined by others from many nations worldwide in colorful ethnic dress.

Celebrations of welcome continued May 13 with the Installation Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul. 


There are many routes available to visit The Basilica. We encourage you to plan ahead.

Details on road construction projects near The Basilica can be found here. We encourage you to plan ahead and consider alternate routes for your arrival at The Basilica.

Alternate Traffic Routes Hennepin Lyndale Construction

Take exit 230 toward 7th Street North.
Merge onto Lyndale Ave N.
Turn left onto 7th St.
Continue onto N 10th St.
Turn right onto Hennepin Ave.
The Basilica of Saint Mary will be on the right.

Traveling north on I-35W, proceed to the Downtown Exits.
Take the 11th St exit.
Merge onto E Grant St.
Continue onto S 11th St.
Turn left onto Hennepin Ave.
The Basilica of Saint Mary will be on the right.

Turn right onto W. Franklin Ave.
Turn left onto Nicollet Ave S.
Turn right onto W Grant St.
Keep left onto S Marquette Ave.
Turn left onto S 11th St.
Turn left onto Hennepin Ave.
The Basilica of Saint Mary will be on the right.

Remain on Hwy 55/Olson Memorial Pkwy until you reach N 7th St.
Turn right onto 7th St.
Continue onto N 10th St.
Turn right onto Hennepin Ave.
The Basilica of Saint Mary will be on the right.

Keep right onto the 11th St exit.
Merge onto E Grant St.
Continue onto S 11th St.
Turn left onto Hennepin Ave.
The Basilica of Saint Mary will be on the right.


Kirk Washington, Jr., a well-known Minneapolis artist, was killed in a tragic motor vehicle accident on I-94 April 4. Kirk was an integral part of the Basilica's Spirit and Soul concert, which is held annually with students from the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, where he served on the planning committee and as a performer. 

A memorial service in his honor will be held on Thursday, April 14, at 11:00am at the Harrison Neighborhood Community Gymnasium located at 503 Irving Avenue North. The public is welcome to attend the service.

Please keep Kirk and his many family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

The Basilica held a lively interfaith event on Sunday, April 3rd: Building Bridges--Confronting Islamophobia. Parishioner Nick Hansen shares highlights of the event. 

            “It takes some courage to do this in this day and age,” said Dr. Todd Green to over a hundred people of different faiths in the lower level of the Basilica on Sunday afternoon. Dr. Green presented as part of the program, “Building Bridges: Confronting Islamophobia.”

            Green, an associate professor of religion at Luther College in Iowa, has researched and spoken on the topic of Islamophobia for many years.

            He began his talk by speaking on the main factors driving Islamophobia: political factors related to the history of imperialism, ignorance towards the Islamic faith, and the narrow scope of reporting on Muslims in the mass media.

            This phenomenon has real consequences: hate crimes towards Muslims happen at a rate five times higher today than prior to 9/11.

            Dr. Green implored those in attendance, especially those of the Christian faith, to build relationships with people of the Muslim faith and to speak out against islamophobia.

            For the second part of the program, Mohamed Ali Hassan of the Somali American Peace Council addressed the audience. He spoke about his organization’s work in Minneapolis (which is home to the largest Somali community in the U.S.). Hassan also talked about SAPC’s program, Sports 4 Peace, which aims to connect Somali youth with sports in order to help build community and promote peace.

            The audience was then invited to discuss the presentations with their tables, which were filled Catholics, other Christians, members of the Jewish faith, and Somali Muslims.

            The session ended with a question and answer session with both Dr. Green and Mr. Hassan.


To find out more about the SAPC, please visit

Dr. Green’s latest book is, “The Fear of Islam: An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West”



Archdiocesan Update

This page hosts information regarding the Archdiocesan update surrounding potential lawsuits at parishes within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. 


PDF iconLetter from Archbishop Hebda_April 2016