Terri Ashmore

Managing Director

Terri Ashmore joined the Basilica staff as Director of Development in 1993.  She helped lead a $10 million capital fundraising effort for the structural restoration of The Basilica, the $7.7 million build out of The Basilica's undercroft, and a $4.2 million church tuck pointing and stained glass window restoration project.  Since 2003 as Managing Director, Terri works with the Accounting & Finance, Communications, Development and Facilities teams running day to day operations to support The Basilica's vision and mission.  She is a liaison to parish and Basilica Landmark governance committees.  Terri enjoys volunteering with the Jeremiah Program and serves on the Board for Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts.

(612) 317-3471

Recent Posts by Terri Ashmore

Geheimnis: Secret

Experience Art and Reflect

Engaging with the art in Geheimnis – Visual Mediation on Ecclesiastes, Mortality, Mystery, Glory is like going back to college without paying tuition. Artist Kelly Kruse provokes and challenges us to reflect about our lives, humanity, and spirituality. One visit is not enough. There is simply too much to take in and absorb in one viewing, but I assure you, the return trip is worth the effort. This exhibit is on display until December 5 in church, the John XXIII Gallery and Teresa of Calcutta Hall on the lower level. 

Kelly describes her work as contemporary illumination. She delves deeply into the human experience, from light and beauty to suffering and death. She is upfront about her personal battle with depression and has used art exploring theology, history, and beauty to find her way forward. With a background in classical music and opera, Kelly studied Medieval and Renaissance music in Italy. During this time, she came upon the idea of illumination as she explored connections in scripture, poetry, music, and the visual arts. 

Two years in the making, Kelly drew her inspiration for Geheimnis from scripture, music and famous authors like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Donne and Shakespeare. “Geheimnis” is the German word for “secret.” 

Studying Ecclesiastes, she drew inspiration from the Hebrew term “hevel,” meaning vapor, smoke or breath—something elusive that can’t actually be grasped, but momentarily felt or glimpsed. Kelly noted that “hevel” is used 38 times in Ecclesiastes, is an abstract concept—it’s an enigma, a paradox she sees as part of our human nature and develops in her art. She invites us to explore the unseen while challenging us to be uncomfortable in a place of not knowing.

Kelly’s non-representational art needs to be experienced in person. Using layers of vibrantly colored acrylic ink and foil, she describes “the wonder of the materials” and “how the foil is transformed by the layers of ink.” Mica, metal, and marble are added on fragile vellum and rice paper for some pieces and transparent dura-tar for another. 

A series in Teresa of Calcutta Hall is based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 “For everything there is a season.” One piece titled “Glory of the City of God” drew me into reflection about The Basilica’s vision. Inspired from Jeremiah 29:7 “Seek the well-being of the city and pray for it to the Lord, for in seeking its well-being, you will find your own.” As I considered Minneapolis, “City of God” gave hope and challenge to recommit to our Basilica vision. Kelly describes “places of light and places of darkness” citing Isaiah 60 “ if we have the light we shall be the light.” 

Writing on her website Kelly shared, “I believe in the value of connecting faith and art for the modern mind, both as an artist and a holder of great work. It is vital to culture to wrestle visually with ideas that are difficult to voice. I also believe it is good for the human soul to grapple with our inherent limitedness, our life’s givenness, and the fact that we are partners for better or worse with the unseen world that sits behind what we can touch.”

Experience Kelly Kruse’s art firsthand and mark your calendars to meet her at a reception at 1:00pm on December 5 in Teresa of Calcutta Hall, lower level of The Basilica. 


For the July 4th weekend, I headed to my hometown in Iowa for my first visit post pandemic. A time for renewing relationships, fun, and reflection, I finally had the chance to see and catch up with family and life-long friends. Conversations were fast and furious as we made up for the “lost year” as many in my hometown call the pandemic.

As we shared stories and experiences from the lock down it was clear that people really missed being with family and friends. For many, that included the loss of an in-person connection to their faith community. With deep emotion they spoke about yearning to gather at daily Mass, receive the Eucharist, and connect with others serving as volunteers at church. 

These expressions of their faith gave meaning, inspiration, and structure to their daily lives that they sorely missed. Denied by the need for safety during the pandemic, as restrictions have lifted, for many these in-person expressions of faith have heightened importance.

Do you share these feelings? What have you missed about being at The Basilica? Please spread the word that we are ready and happy to welcome you back to The Basilica campus for liturgies and more. Better yet, make your plans to come back to the campus and bring friends. 

It’s exciting for The Basilica to once again offer a full schedule of weekend liturgies with Masses at 5:00pm Saturday evening, and Sundays at 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am and 5:00pm (note: new time). Weekday Mass is offered at 7:00am and Noon. Be assured we are also committed to continue livestreaming weekday Mass at Noon, and 9:30am and 11:30am Sunday Masses at mary.org and on our Facebook page at facebook.com/BasilicaMpls.

Throughout the pandemic, volunteers worked at outdoor projects like lawn maintenance and landscaping. Another intrepid group helped with health screening and welcoming people to in-person Mass when COVID-19 restrictions were in place. Choirs continued meeting in new ways, in small groups masked and distanced. Pathways and Young Adults ministries were first active out of doors and indoors when weather required, and they are still at it. 

We have gratefully welcomed back our sandwich makers, rectory hospitality, and reception volunteers who greet those looking for a cup of coffee or a sandwich. Weekly our staff is planning how to re-open volunteer opportunities and ministries safely for all. To help clean circulating air, bi-polar needlepoint ionization technology has been expanded to all Basilica gathering spaces in the Church, Rectory, and Cowley building.

This August, we anticipate a full schedule of offerings in conjunction with the arrival of the Angels Unawares sculpture which will be displayed on The Basilica’s front plaza. The artist is Timothy Schmalz who also created the Homeless Jesus status located in front of The Basilica. 

On loan through August, this Angels Unawares statue comes to us from Catholic University where it will return for permanent installation. Mark your calendars for the opening ceremony at 1:00pm on August 1. Throughout August, there will be speakers offered virtually, and daily prayer, and vigils led by community partners at The Basilica. 

If you haven’t been back to The Basilica yet, I encourage you to plan your visit. Throughout the pandemic, I came in daily to an eerily quiet Basilica campus which simply did not feel right. I’m anxiously anticipating the increased buzz of people coming together in-person to express their faith in worship and ministry in the months ahead. 


Gratitude—that is what I am feeling on so many levels this week. During this pandemic year, The Basilica has been blessed with an incredible group of volunteer leaders on our Parish Council and Finance Committee. 
As you can imagine, the partnership between parish leaders and staff has been critical as they worked together to anticipate, adapt and meet the challenge after challenge brought on by the pandemic. 
At this time of year, some volunteer leaders end their service, and the Parish Council will hold elections to select new members. Special thanks to our outgoing Parish Council Chair Erik Miles and at-large member Eric Brandt who each served six years on the Council. Thanks also to James Van Sloun and Mike Luker who each served a three year term on the Finance Committee. 
Together, the Parish Council and the Finance Committee serve and advise in the governance and strategic direction of The Basilica parish. Finance Committee members share their expertise and set annual parish budgets, regularly review financials, and oversee investments and make recommendations to the Pastor and the Parish Council. These 15 volunteers lead and participate in ongoing work including Audit, Budget, St. Vincent de Paul Finance and Investment subcommittees. 
This year Parish Council election voting opened Wednesday, May 26, and continues through 3:00pm on Monday, June 7. Parish members are invited to participate by casting a vote online at mary.org. Another option is to cast a paper ballot that all parishioners received by mail at home as an insert the June bulletin. Simply complete that ballot and return by mail to the parish or cast your vote online. All votes must be received by June 7. 
The Parish Council plays a crucial role in partnership with the Pastor and staff. A consultative body, the Council advises the Pastor and works with staff to discern the needs of the parish community. 
Praying and working together, Council members strive to help The Basilica community achieve its vision to provide a home of spiritual nourishment, offer a beacon of hope welcoming everyone with respect and dignity, and serve as an advocate of change working for justice, peace and equality for all. The principle responsibilities of the Council are to implement the Our Parish, Our Future Strategic Plan, support parish ministries, and offer counsel and support to our Pastor. 
The Parish Council is made up of 15 members. Each major pastoral area, Liturgy and Sacred Arts, Learning, and Christian Life has two elected representatives that are elected, for a total of six elected members. This year, voters will select a Learning representative and a Christian Life representative. The Pastor appoints three at large Council members as well as representatives of Finance and Development. These volunteer leaders serve with the two parish Trustees, the Pastor and Managing Director. 
Please do your part—cast your ballot online at mary.org/vote by June 7. If you are interested in exploring leadership roles at The Basilica, please reach out to our Director of Engagement, Melissa Streit.
Please take time to vote. The Parish Council represents you—our parishioners. The Council plays a key role in working with the pastor to ensure that The Basilica of Saint Mary community continues to live out our mission and vision.
We are in need of two parishioners to serve on our Parish Council—one to represent our Learning ministries and the other to represent the Christian Life ministries. By voting, you will help elect two new members to the Council. 
Learning - Andrea Lutterman, Incumbent
Christian Life - Open Seat: Candidates 
Jan Buczek and My Lam 
We are pleased to announce our candidates, who are well qualified and exhibit the spirit of stewardship, volunteerism, and leadership that make The Basilica of Saint Mary such a special place. 
Thank you in advance for your participation and your continued support of The Basilica. Every registered adult parishioner in each household is entitled to vote. 
Ballots must be cast online at mary.org/vote by Monday, June 7.

What adjective would you choose to describe the curve balls 2020 has thrown us? Unexpected, topsy turvy, isolating, crazy, frustrating? (And probably some not fit to print) This list could go on and on. 

In the face of these challenges, one unshakeable experience for me has been working with our team of staff at The Basilica. Their commitment to continue to offer opportunities for worship and ministry has never waivered. We may have changed, but we never stopped. 

In March, we started with an iPhone camera to offer Mass virtually on FaceBook Live. That quickly evolved with a great camera crew from Qwickcast who made us feel like we were in The Basilica during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday, even as we watched from our living room sofas. Your generosity kept us going.

This summer a six camera system of our own was made possible by a Basilica Landmark donor. Since bringing this system online, over twenty Basilica staff members have been trained to use it. We’re still learning, but today livestreaming liturgies like Masses, weddings, funerals, baptisms, confirmations is a regular part of daily life at the parish. Former parishioners and friends from around the country are finding us online and joining these livestreamed liturgies. 

We’ve been able to re-open for the public too—now offering two weekday Masses at 7:00am and Noon (also livestreamed), and Sunday Masses at 11:30am and 4:30pm (with 9:30am livestreamed), and Reconciliation at 9:00am Saturdays. To keep everyone safe in this world changed by COVID-19, new Mass protocols are in place and routine including pre-registration, limited numbers, sanitizing our hands, wearing masks and social distancing. Together, staff and volunteers are working to welcome people into The Basilica as safely as we can. 

Coffee and sandwiches are still available daily for those who are hungry. Volunteers, book clubs and speaker series are all meeting virtually. Speakers offer perspectives from our faith in presentations and discussions on immigration, nationalism, citizenship, mental health, and more. 

Employment Ministry Mentors are meeting with job seekers over Zoom. Mentors of Minneapolis College students who have experienced homelessness continue their work and offer their support. St. Vincent de Paul volunteers are doing outreach by phone. Faith Formation for children and teens is being offered virtually too, with families receiving a home prayer kit and supplies. Young Adult Bible Study and Pathways for those looking to build skills to stabilize their lives are active as well. The response to these offerings has been amazing and we are grateful. 

Day to day ministries continue as volunteers share the gift of their faith in so many ways, albeit often virtually. These ministries and offerings can only continue to happen with your financial support. Will you commit to a recurring gift to The Basilica Fund in the coming year? 

We need your help to empower our mission and our ministries. Consider what gift works for you weekly or monthly. Ideally, set this up electronically for automatic withdrawal. It’s easy, and if you need to, you can change this at any time. Giving electronically helps us plan, saves money and makes your contributions go even farther. We are grateful for your support in these challenging times. 

Too quiet, too empty. As I write, the normally intense Basilica Block Party usually set up by hundreds of volunteers would have been in full swing. With COVID-19 and the common good in mind, cancelling this summer party was clearly the right decision.

Feelings of loss and sadness for what was “normal” go far beyond this fun summer event. We are not gathering in person for liturgies and volunteering… not building Habitat homes… not gathering in person to celebrate our children and catechists’ year of learning about our Catholic faith… not offering St. Vincent de Paul daily outreach. Too quiet indeed. 

Without the experiences that normally mark our liturgical, volunteer and social calendars, the shape of daily life has changed dramatically. The future feels uncertain. As a planner, there are days when I find all of this unnerving, challenging, and sometimes maddening.

However and perhaps in spite of COVID-19, I’m seeing many glimmers of hope for our parish’s future. Young adults gather Thursday evenings on The Basilica lawn for Bible Study—social distancing and discussing Scripture. Recently, 98 people joined a “Grief in the City” webinar and this session is available on mary.org any time to anyone interested. Small weddings are being celebrated. Families are having small funerals to grieve the loss of a loved one. 

We are gaining new skills as we befriend new technologies. Zoom is our new noun, verb, and connecting point, and we’ve rediscovered the telephone. Teams of volunteers are “zooming” as is Thursday Morning Prayer, Wednesday Coffee and Conversation with Fr. Bauer, speakers, and committee and staff meetings. All these and more happen virtually. Staff and volunteers are staying in touch with each other and ministry participants.

While most staff work primarily from home, the Rectory is staffed for a limited daily schedule. Thanks to SVdP donations, staff serve coffee and sandwiches to those who are hungry. Port-a-potties are available to our neighbors who are homeless. Their gratitude for these basic amenities is humbling.

While liturgies aren’t the same without your presence, they are livestreamed daily and with a national and global reach. A new camera system has been installed and staff training started last week. We are learning as we go and committed to livestreaming liturgies into the future. As we learn the ropes, the possibilities for expanded outreach are exciting. 

As we focus on safety for guests, staff and priests, we continue to develop health screening and cleaning protocols. People in limited numbers are now invited to daily Mass in person, with pre-registration, health screening and facemasks required. Our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is available on mary.org, and the plan will evolve as we continue to learn about this virus. Things may look and feel different on the Basilica campus, but remember our goal is a safe experience for all. 

As we seek a “new normal,” the heart of Basilica parish life, both in person and virtually, has remained the same. Together, we are committed to being a home of spiritual nourishment, a beacon of hope where all are welcomed with respect and dignity, and an advocate for change working for peace, justice and equality.