Melissa Streit

Director of Engagement
Administration

Melissa Streit has been a parish member and active volunteer at The Basilica for over 20 years. She was on The Basilica staff from 1997-2007 and returned to the staff in 2020 as the Director of Engagement. In her current role, Melissa works across programs and ministries to develop and implement strategies to increase parishioner volunteerism, leadership, and engagement. She previously worked at Jeremiah Program and the Minnetonka Public Schools Foundation. She lives in Minnetonka with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, baking, and crafts.

Melissa Streit
(612) 317-3417

Recent Posts by Melissa Streit

Many of us mourn the changes, big and small, to our everyday life due to COVID-19. We yearn for a return to “normal” and wonder if that is even possible, much less when. We long for our familiar routines, hugs with friends and family, a return to school, work, and serving, and much more. Many grieve the passing of a loved one. The past few months have altered who we are, both individually and collectively.

In times of change and turmoil, one constant is that God is with us and we are able to share all of these feelings and worries with our loving God. The other constant is our faith community. 

While we have had to adapt, The Basilica is the same in many ways. We offer sandwiches, coffee, and a warm greeting to our neighbors in need. We have beautiful liturgies and insightful homilies, with options for in-person and livestream attendance. We share a variety of prayer services online and offer in-person reconciliation. We celebrate music and sacred art in a variety of forms and origins. We commence another year of religious education for our children and youth, plus an updated, flexible RCIA process to accommodate the needs and timing of our candidates. We accompany the unemployed/underemployed, the grieving, and those struggling with the burdens of life. We are offering thought-provoking programming on faithful citizenship, immigration, mental health, and more. We will even offer a drive-up opportunity to get your fall pumpkins, brought directly to your car.

One of my roles during COVID-19 is to manage the brief check-in and health screening process for guests on campus. I’ve been moved by people’s support, patience, and graciousness as we adapt to a new way of coming to The Basilica—thank you. Many have expressed gratitude for the extra steps we take to welcome you back safely.

It’s been an honor to meet more parish members and visitors, and to hear your stories. People have been visibly moved by the experience of physically returning to their beloved Basilica. Pre-registered Mass visitors from out-of-state are awed by seeing our beautiful building for the first time. We even welcomed a koala stuffed animal (wearing its own custom face mask!), carried by a young girl wearing her Sunday best.

As our times of uncertainty linger, we invite you to engage with your spiritual home, with your Basilica. We proudly continue to be a place of worship, a place of refuge, and a place of peace—seeking the well-being of our city and world.

During our Stay at Home self-quarantine I saw a meme on social media that said “This is the Lentiest Lent I ever Lented.” That saying often popped into my head through days of struggle when I was trying to maintain calm through changes in so many facets of life at one time: remote work environments, school lessons from home, increased hygiene and cleaning routines, distance from family and friends, and an inability to worship with all of you physically in our Basilica church. While the meme was about Lenten sacrifice, it implied that it was imposed, unwelcome and too severe.

In Holy Week I realized the saying grown for me from “This is the Lentiest Lent I event Lented” to “This is the Holiest Lent I ever Lented.” In this unprecedented time of global sacrifice and solidarity for the common good, we have stripped back the extras in our lives and focused on the fundamentals. I found that core to be family, friends and neighbors, the most vulnerable in our society, and spiritual communion with Jesus in His Lenten suffering (so much more significant than my own).

Leading up to Easter, I was able to virtually attend far more services than my previous schedule allowed. I was able to spend time in prayer and reflection, checking in on family and friends, sharing meals and household supplies with those who didn’t have enough, and sewing masks to offer safety and peace of mind to loved ones.

The greatest gift of this pandemic Lent and Holy Week was being accompanied. I felt the presence of all of you, and hope you felt the presence of our Basilica community. Most of all, I felt accompanied by God. Whenever I felt scared, overwhelmed, impatient, and weak, I found comfort in God and the death and resurrection of Christ.

Today Peter tells us “In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith…may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” May we all rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy!