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

Recently, you may have seen construction lifts and workers inside and outside of The Basilica.  First, some good news – the copper roof on the Dome is in good condition, and while there is still moisture in the stone walls, most of it is from leaking that happened years ago. 

Because most moisture is being kept out, the ceiling plaster in The Basilica is starting to dry out.  The not so good news – after years and years of moisture damage, the Basilica’s ceiling plaster is crumbling.  As it dries, it has started to fall in large chunks.  To protect Mass goers and visitors, a number of short-term measures have been put in place.  White netting has been installed in Church by our contractor, Mortenson, and will remain in place during Advent and Christmas.  In early January, the workers will be back.  Using lifts and scaffolding in the Church, they will assess the moisture issues and damage to the ceiling plaster.  As an immediate fix, they will knock down any loose crumbling areas of plaster.  What is learned from the plaster assessment will help shape plans for a future interior restoration of the Church.

The construction lifts and scaffolding will allow access to the upper stained-glass windows and to the interior stone walls that have also suffered moisture damage.  Due to age, we know that the leading in The Basilica’s beautiful stained-glass windows will need repairs and restoration – but we don’t now how severe the issues are.  During early 2023, using these same lifts and scaffolding, restoration experts will gather information to inform plans for future work to restore the stained-glass windows.  They will also evaluate a variety of methods for cleaning the interior stone walls.  As you may know, the Basilica was heated by coal for years.  The stone we experience as grey, has been discolored and is in need of cleaning.  All the information gathered will help form the basis for a future and long anticipated restoration of The Basilica’s interior.

All of these projects have been funded by The Basilica Landmark.  They have also funded a study of the moisture, humidity and temperatures inside The Basilica will also take place over the next year through the change of seasons.  This study includes 42 wireless sensers and a moisture monitoring system that have just been installed in Church.  Readings will be taken over the next year and the data gathered will help us create plans to care for The Basilica and steward it for future generations.

There are some areas of The Basilica that may require a structural analysis where cracking of the stone is becoming visible, and there is evidence that some exterior stones are shifting.  Other areas continue to be problems for bringing moisture into the building, like the Basilica’s bell towers.  These towers have copper floors that were installed in 1991 – but they are now over 30 years old, showing wear and allowing water intrusion.  Plans include installation of a rubber roofing material to keep the moisture out. 

It’s important to remember that we have to continue to let the interior of The Basilica dry out before any restoration efforts can begin.  We anticipate that this will take several years.


lift inside




Every day I come to work, I see faith in action at The Basilica.  Last week a group of young adults had gathered around a fire pit in the parking lot for Bible Study.  From choir members streaming in to sing at Sunday Mass, to our catechists helping children learn and grow in their faith, volunteers are present and make our community a place of inspiration, hope and welcome.  Everywhere I look, I experience the strong partnership that exists with volunteers helping in countless ways.

Recently, I hope you received The Basilica’s Annual Report in the bulletin mailed to your home.  The report shares a snapshot of some of the wonderful activities, ministries and beautiful liturgies that you helped make possible in the past year.

As volunteers, participants, and as financial supporters, you make Basilica ministry happen . . . Thank you for all you do. 

As we look to the future and start to make plans for 2023, we do this with a new leader, Fr. Daniel Griffith, who has been with us since July 1st.  I hope you have met him, and if you haven’t yet, that you will join us soon for a liturgy and some of the fun events coming up this fall to say hello to him and get acquainted.

We are blessed to have a new pastor who is excited about The Basilica’s vision and mission. 

“Seek the well-being of the city to which I have sent you.  Pray for it to the Lord.  For in seeking its well-being, you shall find your own.”  Jeremiah 29:7

It is clear to me that Fr. Griffith is already demonstrating his commitment to support, sustain and grow the many ministries and connections with community partners that so many of you have built through the years.    

The possibilities for strengthening and expanding our impactful ministries are right in front of us.  We need to sustain our beautiful liturgies, faith formation and support those facing life’s challenges.  But we also need to move ahead with opportunities for deeper relationships and partnerships, inspiring speakers and teachers, and expanded ministries and outreach. 

To take on these challenges and grow, we need your financial commitment for 2023.  Only you know what you can commit to support our ministries.  I’m asking you to do 3 things:

  • First, prayerfully consider what The Basilica means to you and what financial commitment works for you in 2023.
  • Second, when you hear from Fr. Daniel or from one of our parish volunteers, please respond, and make a financial commitment for 2023 to The Basilica Fund that works for you.  If you are giving now, we ask you to consider an increased commitment to help us keep up with increased parish expenses to grow our ministries.  If you don’t have a financial commitment at this time, please start one today.
  • Finally, please consider choosing the option to give through your bank account or a credit card – Its easy and secure, and really helps us with our planning and budgeting.

Thank you for considering my request for your financial support.  If you have questions, or need more information, please feel free to contact me or our Development Office at 612.317.3407.   



Recently, I’ve just been putting one foot in front of the other. Anticipating more change and transition at The Basilica, I have taken a moment to slow down and reflect about the power of coming together in community. During the pandemic, we learned to pivot, adapt, and be flexible.

I am still amazed at what was accomplished and how creatively volunteers and staff tackled the challenges and curveballs of COVID-19. We can and are doing ministry both in person and virtually and are committed to continuing to offer online experiences, but there is something special about coming together that really matters.

I’ve realized how much I’ve missed the presence of people who are making ministry happen. Whether it’s coming in-person for Mass, working with volunteers and getting to know one another, laughing together or praying together, I believe there is something sacred that happens when we gather in person and are present for one another.

I value the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment of our many volunteers who lead and help daily on our campus and from home. You make The Basilica come alive for all those who cross our threshold. Thank you for lifting us up by sharing your time, expertise, leadership and your advice. The Basilica is a welcoming dynamic place because of you.

If you haven’t been back to The Basilica in a while, I invite you to dip your toe in – and I know there are many reasons you may not be ready. Trust me when I say when you hear the choir sing and are transported, when you see the incense wafting through the air, or experience the bright friendly smile of someone you haven’t seen in over a year, it is quite wonderful.

If the time is right for you, please consider returning to worship and volunteering in person. It’s been wonderful to have more activities starting again. In coming weeks, we will celebrate confirmations, weddings, baptisms, graduations, and more. We love seeing you and need your help to keep the wheels at The Basilica turning.

Beautiful celebrations of Pentecost are being planned for June 4 and 5. The last two weekends in June, we will gather for Mass and head outside for ice cream to say thank you to Fr. Bauer for his 15 years of leadership at The Basilica. 

As we transition pastoral leadership, I invite you to also support our volunteer leaders. From June 1-13, parishioners are invited to vote in the Parish Council election to choose council members to lead our parish and welcome and work with a new Pastor. Please take time to cast your ballot online at mary.org/vote or come to Mass, and you’ll find paper ballots in the back of church. 

Your presence is what makes our Basilica community work. I invite you to remember the inspirational words of Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks compassion into the world. Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world."


Home Sweet Home

Five years ago, The Basilica started an Immigration Support Ministry and entered a strategic partnership with Lutheran Social Services (LSS) to co-sponsor refugee families and they’ve helped 22 families settle in new homes in their new country.

Volunteer Dorene Wernke has been part of the Immigration Support Ministry since its inception. Dorene and her husband had lived overseas and experienced first-hand what it is like to acclimate to a new culture and new ways of doing things. Thinking back, she remembers fondly the people who welcomed her during this experience. Dorene wanted to provide that same warm welcome to people who come as refugees to our country. She finds her volunteer experience gives her a greater perspective on other cultures. She has stayed with this ministry because it is interesting and rewarding.

About six months ago, Dorene stepped in as Volunteer Coordinator of The Basilica’s Circle of Welcome for refugees, an important part of The Basilica’s Immigration Support Ministry. Circle of Welcome volunteers work with refugee families for 6 to 12 months or longer if needed. The process starts with an initial meeting with the family along with the LSS case manager.

Volunteers help the family get acquainted with their new community and provide a variety of tangible support. They might help the family find a grocery store with the types of food they enjoy and help them get there. Volunteers help families find doctors and dentists and assist with setting up appointments. They help families as their children settle into new school situations and provide follow-up in any way needed. An important role is to help families make their new living situation feel like home by finding furniture and household goods.

Circle of Welcome Ministry has been well received by Basilica volunteers and we are grateful for the important work they are doing. While Welcome Teams are filled right now, there are many ways you can help.

Families are large and finding suitable housing is challenging. If you have housing available that would work for a large family, learn more on our website at mary.org/refugeesponsorship. You will find a Housing Form and specific criteria there.

At this moment, many families need to set up new homes and this is happening all at once. Sometimes it takes families months to get needed furniture and household goods. Two other non-profit partners of The Basilica welcome your donations.

Donate furniture to Bridging bridging.org or the Minneapolis St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store at svdpmpls.org/storedonations_2.html.

Donate household goods like trash cans, wastebaskets, silverware drawer organizers, everything any family needs to set up their new home to the St. Vincent de Paul Store. The Store is located at 2939 12th Ave. S. in Minneapolis, MN 55407. You can call the Store at 612.722.7882 and hours are Monday to Friday from 10:30am to 5:30pm, and Saturdays from 10:30am - 4:00pm.

Please hold these refugee families in your thoughts and prayers as they build new lives for themselves in our community and take the time to learn more about The Basilica’s Immigration Support Ministry.



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.