Terri Ashmore

Managing Director
Administration

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

Volunteer leaders at The Basilica serve in many roles across the parish, leading individual ministries, volunteer teams and planning for the future. One group critical to our leadership structure is our Parish Council. 

We invite you to cast your ballot online for our candidates for the Parish Council at www.mary.org/vote. The election will run from May 26-June 5.  On the ballot this year is incumbent Aara Johnson running for a second term to represent Christian Life and Steven Kim is the candidate for Liturgy and Sacred Arts.

The Council is a consultative group charged with assisting the Pastor and staff in discerning the needs, ambitions and desires of the Parish community and carrying out its mission in the city.  
Made up of 6 elected, 5 appointed and 4 ex-officio members, the Parish Council advises Fr. Bauer about issues happening in our parish and the local Catholic Church.  Council members offer their time, expertise and guidance as challenges arise.  

Elected members represent critical areas of ministry including Liturgy and Sacred Arts, Learning and Christian Life.  Appointees include 3 at large members, and representatives of the Finance and Development Committees.  In their role as corporate officers our two trustees, Fr. Bauer, and the Managing Director serve as ex-officio members by nature of their roles, on both the Finance Committee and the Parish Council.  

The Council’s primary role is to ensure that we have a Strategic Plan, and that our parish focuses thoughtfully and planfully on the future.  The Our Parish, Our Future Strategic Plan was approved in late 2018.  Since that time the Council has worked with parish leaders and staff to identify and implement new ways of working together and new approaches to ministry through the lens of transformative arts, preventing homelessness and inclusion This work is being done with an ongoing commitment to excellence and welcome in Liturgies and Sacred Arts, Learning opportunities for all ages, and Christian Life initiatives like outreach and advocacy for those most in need.  

With a new perspective I can share that there is nothing like a pandemic to crystalize the importance of active volunteer leaders willing to share their expertise and guidance.  Reacting to the impacts of a global pandemic was not part of our parish Strategic Plan and together we are breaking new ground.

However, as we wrestled with how to meet the challenges of the pandemic, the foundation of the Strategic Plan is helping us move into an uncertain future. Some plan initiatives like live streaming of daily and Sunday Masses that we thought wouldn’t happened for years,  are being  realized simply due to necessity.

Our aspirations have not changed.  We seek to offer a home of spiritual nourishment, to be a beacon of hope and serve as an advocate for change as we seek the well-being of the city.  With the help of our current and future parish leaders, The Basilica of Saint Mary will continue to grow and thrive through and beyond the pandemic.  

 

From our seats in the pews of The Basilica, we can make a difference around the world. Each year, our parish community helps a global mission cause. This weekend, Meghan Meros, Associate Director of the Franciscan Mission Service (FMS), joins us to raise awareness and financial support for their ministries. This Catholic, 501(c)(3) nonprofit relies on the prayers and financial support of parishes like ours to serve communities in South America, the Caribbean, and here in US. 

How will your donations help FMS around the globe? FMS focuses on making a difference through sustainable agriculture, and prison ministries. Here are just a few examples. 

FMS ministers accompany communities to create organic in-home gardens and provide healthy food for families. The parish of Santa Vera Cruz and the rural Santa Rosa de Lima community used sustainable agriculture techniques the FMS team learned at regional workshops to improve the soil quality and production of the parish garden. They went from growing a single crop of potatoes one year to growing a variety of healthy vegetables the next. Produce is sold to parishioners twice a week. Food waste is fed to the worm bed to produce hummus and other organic matter used for mulch. 

About 10 women work alongside the parish team in the parish garden, and in the women’s family gardens. Together as a community, they plant, harvest, and share meals. Their gardens have doubled in productivity. Healthy food is now available in an area lacking water, sanitation systems, quality education, and reliable transportation. People in this area face constant marginalization based on race, class, and culture.

In the prisons, FMS ministers affirm the dignity of all. One minister works at seven prisons around Cochabamba, Bolivia. For context, those incarcerated in Bolivia, lose their freedom and must pay for their cells and food. Often, children are sent to prison with their mothers. Many women end up in prison for stealing just to provide for their families. 

Awaiting trial is a lengthy process, and those incarcerated make crafts and goods to earn funds to pay for food and their cells. FMS ministers assist by selling their goods at market, and helping obtain raw materials to make shoes, cards, and other saleable crafts. FMS works with about 200 artisans, carpenters, and shoemakers. Forming friendships is as important as the crafts sold. These ministers help affirm the prisoners’ dignity as human beings. 

Another minister visits with about 20 women imprisoned in Cochabamba. They have formed friendships, and share in Bible study. The ministers recognize the women’s need for meaningful work and assist with their desire to gain skills to so they can find employment upon their release from prison. Some of the imprisoned women knit for an ethical manufacturing company while others learn how to do hair in the prison salon.

Each of us is called to consider what we can do for our brothers and sisters around the world. One way we can engage is simple - by giving donations and our prayers, we can support the Franciscan Mission Service and their work around the globe. 

“I know well the plans I have for you says the Lord . . . Plans for your wellbeing, 
not your woe . . . Plans to give you a future full of hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Have you heard about the “Nones?” A Pew Research Study identified increasing numbers of young adults who no longer choose to affiliate with organized religion and named them the “Nones.” Critical downward trends face many churches and raise serious questions about the future. Fewer people attending church, downward changes in financial giving habits, and volunteering are just a few of the troubling trends impacting many faiths, especially Catholics.

The Basilica has been successful in attracting young adults and we are grateful for their involvement and that of all our parishioners, but we know we can’t simply sit back and relax. That’s why the work of our volunteer leaders to implement the Our Parish, Our Future strategic plan is so important. 

This fall it’s been exciting as parish leaders have gathered for deep dives into pressing questions about creating a future full of hope for our parish. Fifty ministry leaders have agreed to serve as plan ambassadors, to share their ideas and feedback. Another 25 leaders are serving as a Change Management Team and to shepherd this work. They have focused on critical questions: 

  • What do we want to see in place in 3 -5 years? 
  • What blocks us from realizing these hopes, and how can we deal with them? 
  • What underlying contradictions keep us from achieving our goals? 
  • What innovative, substantial actions will address these underlying contradictions and move us toward our achieving our vision?

In depth conversations have resulted in an initial approach to practical goals. Central to our work is an ongoing commitment to living our Catholic faith in the world through our liturgies, learning, and Christian life. As a dynamic Catholic parish, we are committed to our responsibility to minister to our members and to invite and challenge them to minister to those in need. 

We’ve set a goal to broaden and deepen engagement through a focus (both internal and external) on arts, inclusivity and preventing homelessness through a commitment to a continuous process of improvement and accountability. Our work will move us towards:

  • Increasing engagement
  • Strengthening our presence and partnerships—to leverage and extend our reach and engagement
  • Enhancing belonging and excellence in ministry
  • Stewarding our resources

Staff from all parish departments have participated in goal setting sessions to identify how to move forward practically and successfully. Together, volunteers and staff have identified one year accomplishments and two year success indicators necessary to achieve our goals. The resulting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) goals will guide our work in the coming years. Our conversations have turned toward ways to evaluate the impacts and effectiveness of our ministries, programs, and operations. 

At the end of the day, our goal is to put our faith into action. We strive to accept the challenge of St. Teresa of Avila to take up the work of Jesus Christ and live our faith in the world – “Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.” 

150 years old and going strong. 

Our Basilica parish community continues to thrive, but strong committed volunteer leaders are critical to our future. This weekend, all adult parishioner members have an opportunity to support candidates running for our Parish Council by casting their votes.

Hopefully, you’ve seen the paper ballot included in the parish bulletin that should have recently arrived at your home. This year we will elect members to represent Liturgy and Sacred Arts and also our Learning ministries. 

Online voting is available now. Please, take a moment to vote.

Leadership matters. The role of the Council is to be sensitive to the needs, ambitions, and desires of the Parish community as we strive to fulfill our mission and vision. By sharing their insights, ideas, and suggestions with our Pastor, Council members help our leaders make thoughtful, informed decisions. Key to their success as a group is collaboration and consultation. Each Council meeting is grounded by prayer and sharing about the Sunday Gospel. 

Our Parish Council includes elected and appointed representatives of the ministries and governance groups in our community. Together, members of the Parish Council serve and advise our Pastor. They are asked to chart a course for our future through Strategic Planning, and by sharing their hopes, their thoughts, and concerns. Members are also asked to be good listeners, and to keep a handle on the pulse of the parish. 

In addition to focusing on the future of the parish, principle responsibilities of the Council include seeking input from the parishioners and staff. They provide guidance to help the parish facilitate communication among our members, and the many volunteer committees and ministries. They also provide for the support and monitoring of ministries with a special focus on ensuring the fulfillment of the strategic plan.

Council members assist in the education of parishioners about the meaning of biblical stewardship, its responsibilities, and the benefits of membership in our parish community. They also respond to recommendations from the Finance Committee and have responsibilities to insure our parish’s financial health. Throughout this work, members share their expertise, their passion for their faith, and they provide counsel and support to our Pastor. 

In the coming year, important work and conversations will continue on Master Planning for our campus and implementing our new Strategic Plan. Our Council members will help lead us as work on these important initiatives progress. 

As we look to the future, having active volunteers invested in leading our Parish, committed to partnering with our volunteers, staff, and our Pastor are critically important to our success in carrying out our vision. Please take time to vote, and consider how you can be a part of helping The Basilica of Saint Mary achieve our aspirations to be a Home of Spiritual Nourishment, a Beacon of Hope, and an Advocate for Change.

In the early 1990s, The Basilica adopted a parish vision taken from the bible verse Jeremiah 29:7: “Seek the well-being of the city to which I have sent you. Pray for it, says the Lord, for in its well-being you will find your own.” 

This vision has propelled parishioners beyond the pews into the city, to put their faith in action. Like our parish, the South African group New Hope International Exchange (NHIE) also draws inspiration from the prophet Jeremiah, as they focus on learning from the past and building bridges to a new future. 

Sharing messages of reconciliation with a cultural music exchange, New Hope International is celebrating the 100th year celebration of Nelson Mandela’s birth. Mandela was the first democratically elected leader of South Africa. To celebrate Mandela, NHIE’s singing group known as 29:11 is embarking on a year long journey called the Reconciliation Music Exchange Tour. The group took its name from the bible verse in Jeremiah 29:11: “I know well the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans for your well-being, not your woe. Plans to give you a future full of hope.”

Why music exchange? Coming together around music helps us to celebrate what we have in common. NHIE is committed to a full year of exchange concerts and culture and learning partnerships with churches, schools and others. They see music as the “universal unifier and a catalyst for change we wish to see in the world.”  In the Twin Cities, they are partnering with Bethel University, Luther College, the Minnesota Chorale, the National Baptist Convention, the Leadership Institute-Minnesota Honorary Council to South Africa and the Minnesota Orchestra. Their goal is to reach tens of thousands to open dialogues on reconciliation. 

The group 29:11 describes their music as “food for the soul.” Their instrumentalists and vocalists will offer traditional South African music and original pieces. For a taste of 29:11’s music join us at the 9:30am Mass on Sunday, June 10. 29:11 return to The Basilica at 7:00pm Thursday, June 28 for an in-depth collaboration with our parish including a concert and program in partnership with 16 Basilica parishioners and friends who travelled to South Africa last January.

Trip participant, Susan McGuigan said her challenge is “to use what I learned to make me a better person and my community a more loving and just place to live. Parishioner Joan Prairie described her striking memory of visiting a Cape Town township and learning about their water shortage. “They’ve experienced extreme drought and have been rationing water for 3-4 years. We learned some communities were facing a total shut off of water this spring,” said Joan. Linda Atwood shared that “The South Africa post-apartheid truth and reconciliation journey challenged me to reflect beyond my familiar cultural comforts and political viewpoints.” 

New Hope International Exchange (NHIE) 
Originally from South Africa, Brendon Adams and his wife Gaylene co-founded NHIE and operate from their Eden Prairie home. Gaylene visited South Africa in 1996, returning in 1998 for work in children and youth ministry in Cape Town.  Brendon and Gaylene met and married in 2000, and ran New Hope International Exchange in Elsies River, a Cape Town Flats township created by the mass removals of blacks from their homes during the Apartheid era. Twenty five years after the end of Apartheid, people in communities like Elsies River still struggle with poverty and high rates of unemployment, crime, gang activity and teen pregnancy. 

NHIE offers opportunities to individuals and groups to put hope in action by serving and supporting communities in need within Cape Town, South Africa through volunteer missions and foreign exchange.

29:11 CONCERT AND RECONCILIATION PRESENTATION
THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 7:00PM

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