Photo provided by: 
Rich Columbo

Equity Diversity Inclusion

In 2016, after the death of Philando Castile, The Basilica recognized a need to address the important issue of racism in our parish, in our lives and in society. With the approval and support of the Parish Council, The Basilica began to prayerfully develop a parish-wide, faith filled-response to racism. 

The Basilica began to bring people together to share stories and build trust across racial and ethnic divides. The Basilica engaged in ecumenical initiatives and offered educational series and trainings to learn about and address the issue of racial inequity. 

As we sought to connect with and learn from community partners, The Basilica entered into an intentional relationship with equity consultant, Sarah Bellamy, in the Spring of 2019. Through small group conversations and workshops with staff and parishioners, Sarah Bellamy created a strategic and comprehensive report for The Basilica: The Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Opportunities and Challenges Analysis. 

Upon completion of this analysis and reflection and support by parish leadership, recommendations of the report are being implemented. A twelve member EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity) Leadership Team comprised of parishioners began meeting September 2020. With guidance by Sarah Bellamy, this team is working on parish-wide strategies and goals within The Basilica and the larger community.

 

“We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of human life.” 

-Pope Francis, reflecting on the killing of George Floyd

 

 

The Basilica of Saint Mary
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Position Statement
The Basilica of Saint Mary is a Catholic community rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our faith calls us to uphold the absolute dignity of all people. All are beloved children of God. 
 
With Minnesota “having some of the highest racial disparities in the nation despite being ranked one of the best places to live” , we need to recognize our complicity in enabling racism to persist in our community. In acknowledging racism as America’s original sin, as Catholics and a Catholic community, we confess our sin with the purpose of making atonement.  
 
Our Prayerful Intent 
The Basilica will work to eliminate racism within the parish and the broader community. The Basilica will not be neutral in the face of any kind of injustice.
 
We will work to understand how institutionalized racism is present within The Basilica organization. Relying on established Catholic Social Teaching principles  to guide us, we will work towards healing and reconciliation in our own parish. We need to build trust with all members of our parish community so that our words, actions, and thoughts are reflective of the total body of Christ.
 
 In service to all, we will do this by:
  • Nurturing an environment within our parish that provides equity, diversity and inclusion for all  through opportunities to engage in dialogue, education, and compassionate solidarity
  • Identifying where institutionalized racism is in our parish while embracing an openness to reform our policies, practices, and procedures 
  • Providing opportunities for personal transformation, while working toward systemic change
  • Working in collaboration with others in our community to deepen our impact both within our parish and within our larger community
 
In the words of Pope Francis reflecting on the killing of George Floyd: “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of human life.”
 
Both within our parish and our city, The Basilica will set an example of living out the Gospel of love. Others will feel compelled to follow this example because of how determinedly we strive for justice and peace.
 
This work is ongoing.  We recognize we will fall short, and we need to build a culture of accountability.  Attaining this integrity will enable us to turn this work outward to the community at large.  
 
Come Holy Spirit, give us strength, courage, and guidance for this journey and vision. Amen.