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A year like no other… How many times have we explained or complained with that mantra during our COVID-19 pandemic. For many months, almost no one set foot in The Basilica or indeed on the campus. So many things have been so very different from the hospitality this community prayerfully endeavored to live out since March of 2020. With all this change though, some things, in their essence, stayed the same. The little things changed of course and at the time, many seemed big rather than little. The big things though, they found a way; and with or without open doors in the beautiful Basilica building, lived on, the important work carried on.
As just one example, we still welcomed people into The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. We still invited each person to have a sponsor to walk with them albeit virtually, during the year. The community still prayed for each person, still welcomed and elected them through Rites we have celebrated for a very long time. And on Holy Saturday, several of them were Baptized, Confirmed, and received their First Eucharist. At the Solemnity of Pentecost, many Candidates will be Confirmed and receive their First Eucharist.
Following, is what many of the Candidates had to say about RCIA during the pandemic.
What has changed in your life?
“My attitude has changed, I’ve experienced a conversion of heart. I recognize a big change in myself and my relationship with God.”
“My relationship with God has changed, I have grown closer to Him. I’m excited about a lifelong spiritual journey with Christ.”
“I feel the RCIA experience has opened up my mind and heart to the mystery of faith and the beauty of the Catholic Church. The Sacraments have become more meaningful, the liturgical calendar has become meaningful. I accept more on faith.”
“I have gained a greater appreciation for the Catholic Eucharist as a thanksgiving to God. I have found the services to be deeply spiritual and meaningful.”
“Praying has become a habit and has become more meaningful.”
In what ways have you experienced conversion?
“I have become more aware of the messaging and awareness of miracles and the possibility of miracles.”
“Many of Johan’s lectures helped me see things with new eyes and renewed heart.”
“I feel my heart and soul have been transformed. I feel calm, settled and at peace, yet excited for the future in my faith life and how I can get involved and make a difference.”
Certainly, as with all our ministries and most everyone’s lives, there were challenges and disappointments. We streamed the Sunday Liturgies, we Zoomed our sessions and retreats. It was challenging for new seekers, to really feel a part of this great community. However, offering no disappointment, the Holy Spirit was present and powerful. We have many newly initiated members of The Basilica, ready to live a life of discipleship, hopefully very soon, on our campus.
We are looking to fill a volunteer leadership role on the parish Finance Committee starting this fall. This is a three-year term position, with the option to serve a second three year term. The committee normally meets on the third Tuesday of the month (September – April) and meets with the Parish Council on the third Wednesday in May to finalize budgets.
If you have a background in accounting, banking, audit, investments, budgeting or Human Resources and are interested in this opportunity or would like more information, please contact Audra Johnson.
The Basilica Parish Council - Nominations
Deadline: April 15, 2021
This spring, elections will be held for Parish Council representatives for our Learning and Christian Life areas. Parishioners are invited to nominate excellent candidates using the nomination form.
Although our lives have not completely returned to “normal,” how uplifting it was to have Holy Week and Triduum with in-person attendance at The Basilica. Being with one another, albeit masked and socially distanced, made the joy of Easter even more profound as our Lenten-like year of sacrifice for the common good feels closer to conclusion. As one guest happily proclaimed, “We are an Easter people!”—and indeed we are.
I vividly remember one year ago tearfully watching Easter Masses from home while sheltering in place. Archbishop Hebda, against the backdrop of unexpected spring snow, shared a Blessing of the City that was a soothing balm during such uncertain times. On this Second Sunday of Easter, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday, we conclude our 3:00pm Vespers service with a Blessing of the City from our front steps facing Minneapolis via Hennepin Avenue.
The Basilica’s vision statement “to seek the well-being of the city” is as relevant and important as ever. The world is watching as our city strives for truth, justice and healing. The needs of our neighbors, both near and far, have increased due to the global pandemic, civil unrest, racial injustice, and economic crises. The Basilica’s programs, ministries, and outreach efforts help create a more caring and just city and world.
Today’s first reading from Acts of the Apostles describes the early Church as a community of believers of one heart and mind. Our modern society is far from what God intended for us—a world free from need and filled with compassion. As I join our parish community in praying for our city and our world today, I pray most of all that I recommit myself to doing more to bring about the world God imagined.
In the closing words of The Basilica’s Litany for a Better World:
God of eternal wisdom, trusting in you we ask: Grant us kindness in all our thoughts, gentleness in all our words and generosity in all our deeds; Inspire us to fight the sin of indifference and speak out for those in need, and guide us in ways that will bring about the world you imagined for us.