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, 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. 


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.