A picture of a solid stone cross in front of a clear blue sky.

Weekly Musings

Noon Masses September 26-30

All Mass recordings can be found at Mass Recordings.

 

Monday, September 26

Tuesday, September 27

Wednesday, September 28

Thursday, September 29

Friday, September 30

 

 

Every time I hear the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, I wonder about the rich man allowing Lazarus to lay at his door—tolerating his presence. He did not order Lazarus to be removed, and perhaps was not intentionally cruel to him. As he allowed Lazarus to lay and eat anything that fell his way, did he feel somehow generous in his tolerance?

This Gospel parable challenges us: the sin of the rich man was accepting the condition of Lazarus—assuming it perfectly natural and inevitable that Lazarus could lay in pain and hunger while he enjoyed luxury. Indeed, the sin of the rich man was that he could look on his brother’s suffering and need and be content to tolerate it—having it incidental and irrelevant to the rich man’s life.

As I come into The Basilica Rectory weekday mornings, I see a man who sleeps outside on the steps that lead from the Rectory driveway to the west school parking lot. Sometimes he sleeps in the driveway. Sometimes on the curb of 17th street, leaning on the highway wall. Most days, he is here—literally lying at our door. One day, as I was walking back into the office after lunch, he called me and asked if I was going to eat the food I was carrying. He was asking for the scraps of my food.

Scripture is not always so poignantly real—but do we see the “Lazarus” in our lives? In many manifestations, he is there every day. And every day we have a choice of how we respond to his presence—both individually and collectively. If we look, there are opportunities and challenges in this call to radical and bold compassionate action. It is so easy for us to think we are doing something kind—even as we fall so short.

The Basilica community has always been committed to responding to the needs of the most vulnerable among us. In formal and informal ways, we reach out to see our brother and sister suffering or in need, accompany them through their journey, serve them, and defend them.

For the man lying at our Basilica door—we have gotten to know him by name. Sought to find services through partner non-profits to support him. Provided food and drink, respectfully. Welcomed him, even as he experiences mental health struggles. We hope he knows he is not alone. Yet, it doesn’t feel enough.

Our faith calls us to deep and real solidarity with one another. We are called to care for our brothers and sisters, whoever they are and wherever they live. Regardless of national, racial, ethnic, economic, or ideological differences, we are one human family. We are called to embrace the reality of being interconnected—and to seek to embody this without resentment, indifference, domination, or exploitation.

This Gospel is a wake-up call to see the needs of our brothers and sisters and engage in bold compassionate action. Let us help one another to see and respond to the suffering and pain around us. What else would we expect of a Catholic community?

 

 

My son started eighth grade a few weeks ago. Like all students, his school life was halted by the pandemic. Activities, sports, and even just spending time with friends became challenging at a critical time in his social and emotional development. He now seems a bit reluctant and has asked more than once, “Can’t we just Zoom it?”

Thankfully many schools are returning to a more normal routine this year, but it causes me to wonder what normal even is. After over two years, our lives and habits have changed, perhaps in ways we don’t even fully realize yet. I have tried to intentionally prioritize our recommitments over the past year, balancing our needs for health and safety with our needs for community and relationship.

My family recommitted quickly and wholeheartedly to The Basilica. Our volunteer roles here are fulfilling, we know we’re needed, and we feel an even deeper sense of belonging and purpose as the parish community rebuilds post-pandemic. We came back as soon as The Basilica re-opened to greet people at Mass, as perhaps it was the only in-person social contact some people would have all week. My son and I learned how to livestream liturgies so people could participate remotely. We pick up doughnuts on Saturdays, knowing how much people enjoy the fellowship and sweets after Mass.

Despite the challenges of these times, we are more committed than ever to The Basilica's mission to be a welcoming and inclusive community united by God's grace on a shared journey of faith. We are a community; we live out our Christian discipleship together through worship and a wide variety of ministries. The Basilica has an important role in the life of our hurting city.

Volunteers empower and invigorate every Basilica ministry at all levels. The Basilica’s programs, ministries and outreach are more fruitful and impactful due to the dedicated support of our volunteers. But we always need more. Not just to strengthen and grow our ministries, but to also deepen your Christian discipleship. “Christ has no body but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours…Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” Teresa of Avila

We have over 120 different volunteer ministries at The Basilica, so there is truly something for everyone. Please contact me at mstreit@mary.org or 612.317.3417 or find me at the back of church after Mass to discuss how you can be more involved at The Basilica.

 

Several weeks ago I asked Dr. Johan Van Parys about this post-Easter trip to Europe. He told me about his visit to see his family in Belgium—long overdue, given the challenges of Covid. He also described his amazing trip to Rome in conjunction with his work with PAVM – Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums. He conveyed that one of the highlights of his time in Rome was the opportunity to give a talk to hundreds of people in the Sistine Chapel. I found the title of his talk illuminating – “Beauty that Saves.” I am thankful indeed that a man of Johan’s talent, faith, and passion for the sacred liturgy and the arts continues to serve our community at the Basilica.

In the Catholic philosophic tradition we refer to truth, goodness, and beauty as the transcendentals because we believe that our creator God is the source of every good gift including the sublime gifts of truth, goodness, and beauty. Through our contemplation of these realities we are able to transcend our finite nature and both glimpse and touch the infinite nature of God. Jesus Christ – true God and true man – is the embodiment of the transcendentals, as we see refracted through his life, the goodness of God, the truth of God, and the beauty of God. Certainty, in our modern day we see little focus on the transcendentals because we have eclipsed the divine horizon of God and thus, attendantly, those attributes most closely associated with God.

The transcendentals can literally save us because they can wrench us away from the fixation and lure of this world – fixation on the immanent – and pull is into a realm where we are able to see things as they truly are – life, love, and beauty, from God’s perspective. Truth, goodness, and beauty move us one step closer to the Lord of life and the God who saves us. Like St. Augustine and the great mystics of the Catholic tradition, how could we not desire to move closer to a God who is the source of all life – all that is noble, holy, and lovely?

But how does this happen – how can truth, goodness, and beauty offer salvation from God? It is the truth of God’s saving love and mercy that has transformed sinners and made saints. Pope Francis calls this the first proclamation of the Gospel – the saving love and mercy of God. I have experienced this in my own life – where God’s personal and transformative love can then move me to share this message of love with others. Secondly, I remember fondly attending the beatification of Mother Theresa of Calcutta when I was a young priest. The crowds poured out over St. Peter’s square on a cloudless October day. We were there because we were inspired by and wanted to pay tribute to the goodness of God that was so powerfully manifest through this diminutive nun. And beauty saves because beautiful art – wether paintings, music, architecture, or literature opens us up to the mystery of the human longing for something that can only be satisfied by a transcendent and loving God who made us to be complete in his divine embrace.

Lastly, I warmly welcome those who are with us in Minneapolis and here at the Basilica from around the world who are part of PAVM – the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, including the Vatican delegation. You are all very welcome here at the Basilica.

As your new pastor at the Basilica, I am proud to join a community who has embraced the truth of God’s inclusive love, the beauty of creation and the arts, and the goodness of God, to which we are called to live in our wounded and waiting world.

Peace,

Fr. Daniel 

 

 

On behalf of the 2022-2023 Parish Council, warm greetings to all. This is my first column as Parish Council Chair. What an honor it is to assume this role! As you may have read in a previous bulletin, I am a retired school administrator in our Catholic schools, a wife, mother of three adult children, and grandmother of 6. I have many interests including quilting, biking, reading and travelling. My faith has always been central to me since I was a small child.

This summer our Parish Council Vice Chair, Steven Kim, and our Secretary, My Lam, and I have spent time together getting to know one another and discussing our hopes for Parish Council this year. Learn more about the 2022-2023 Parish Council members at mary.org/parishcouncil.

The Parish Council has not met in-person for a while due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, we will launch the year with an in-person mini-retreat scheduled for the evening of September 28. The focus of the retreat will be reconnecting in faith and selecting our goals for the year. We would very much like to know what you, our community members, hope that the Parish Council can accomplish and support this year so that your thoughts can be included in our discernment during the retreat. Please email your thoughts to basilica@mary.org before our September 28 meeting.

Last spring, the Parish Council completed a revised governance document outlining the roles and responsibilities of the Council. They also passed a list of potential action items for the Council. This work and the thoughts of our community will guide our discussions and conclusions on the 28th. Many thanks to our past Parish Council for this work and to Past Council Chair, Katelin Richter Davis, for her leadership in this area and throughout the past year.

As part of our long-term financial picture, a Long-Term Financial Planning/Budget Committee led by Trustee, Tom Paul, has been working hard for several months. As the name suggests, this group aims to create a five-year plan to align our resources with our needs and wants as a parish. More information on this work will be forthcoming.

The Parish Council welcomes Fr. Daniel Griffith as our newly installed Pastor and Rector! What a truly beautiful installation Mass and reception. Much credit to our parish staff and, of course, Archbishop Hebda, for their many contributions in creating this event. We look forward to Fr. Daniel’s leadership and to his interactions with us at our mini retreat.

Our parish is very large, and we are looking for ways to connect with as many of you as we can in community, as volunteers, in worship and as children of God. There are a wide variety of ways that the Basilica serves our community and a wide variety of ways that we can serve the Basilica. Let’s walk together in faith.

May your days be richly blessed.

 

Jill Reilly
Parish Council Chair
The Basilica of Saint Mary

 

 

For more than a century, our beautiful Basilica has prominently marked the downtown Minneapolis skyline. The Basilica of Saint Mary can only serve future generations through a dedicated effort to preserve, restore and advance our historic campus.

Did you know that three of our Basilica campus buildings—the Church, School and Rectory are on the National Register of Historic Places? Our fourth building, Cowley Center, was built in the 1960s, and is also showing its age.

The Basilica Landmark, a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was organized by volunteers in 1993 to preserve and restore The Basilica of Saint Mary and its campus. What does it take to preserve and restore this historic campus? It takes helps from all of us.

Would you join our effort and make a gift to support The Basilica Landmark’s Annual Fund? With your financial help, our campus and historic buildings will continue to provide an essential foundation for the ministries that serve thousands with countless physical, mental, and spiritual needs.

Have you noticed the safety netting recently installed over one of The Basilica’s stained-glass windows? The good news is the interior ceiling plaster in the church is finally drying out after years of moisture damage. The bad news—as this plaster dries, it is crumbling. Falling plaster dust around one of the windows has graduated to falling pieces of plaster, which led to this recent installation of safety netting.

This month, a team including our architects and a church restoration specialist gathered on campus to investigate these issues with the interior ceiling plaster. In the short term, next steps include an assessment of the condition of the ceiling plaster and recommendations to ensure safety for all who enter The Basilica. Long term, our hopes are to raise funds for an extensive exterior and interior restoration of The Basilica.

As you can imagine, The Basilica’s yearly maintenance needs are great and funds are always in demand. This year is no exception. Inflation and supply shortages have added additional pressures. A few of the projects planned and underway include:

 

· Conducting a comprehensive study of the building exterior to better understand and prioritize how to keep moisture out to meet the restoration needs of our historic building

· Creating a clean room to house the new organ blower and replacing several organ baffles

· Ongoing tuck pointing of the church exterior and roof repairs

 

This list goes on with smaller maintenance projects that need attention to keep the campus functioning, like fixing cracked concrete, addressing lighting issues, and more.

Please support The Basilica Landmark Annual Fund by making a gift today. You can make your gift by going online at thebasilicalandmark.org/give or by calling the Development Office at 651.317.3472.

Together we can continue to preserve and restore our beloved Basilica so it will remain the beautiful gateway for this vibrant parish that serves, engages, and inspires the surrounding community.

 

 

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