A Digital Basilica Community August 30, 2023

“I am looking for a church and a community and have a few questions about Catholicism.” Amidst a myriad of emails, this simple yet profound entreaty last week immediately stood out. I remember having that exact same yearning shortly after moving to the Twin Cities as a young adult. I found a meaningful connection to my faith and to others at The Basilica. That connection with our Basilica community has nurtured and sustained me throughout adulthood.

The email sender and I met after Mass a few Sundays ago and he talked about growing up in a Protestant tradition but not feeling particularly connected spiritually and stepping back from church attendance after confirmation. Now, about ten years later, he is feeling drawn back to a spiritual life and possibly in the Catholic Church.

In our conversation, he said that he found The Basilica online and watched a couple of our livestreamed Masses. He found the experience to be meaningful so he decided to worship with us in person, despite not being familiar with Catholic Mass. This is just one of many examples of our evangelization through livestream. We regularly hear that our livestream connects people to The Basilica and extends our reach beyond our church walls.

In our modern age we are called to use current means to share the Good News of Christ. The Basilica’s decades-long commitment to being “a traditional church with a modern message” calls us to continually progress in how we preach, teach, and share our Catholic faith and traditions

In the midst of a global pandemic, with generous support from an anonymous donor, The Basilica invested in equipment throughout the church to livestream liturgies and audio/visual equipment in several meeting spaces for hybrid and online sessions. These enhancements helped worshippers stay connected to their spiritual home and invited participation from people unable to physically or logistically be on our campus.

Parish members Dr. George and Karen Landis recall feeling awestruck by the art and architecture of The Basilica. “We feel like pilgrims coming to The Basilica” they shared, “and each encounter with its sacred art, beauty, and liturgy enriches our faith and our connection to God.” Their desire to share similar experiences broadly with others inspired Landises to underwrite the cost of a new on-site podcast and video studio at The Basilica. We anticipate having an array of podcast and video content to explore sacred art, Catholic faith, and discipleship within the context and challenges of modern living available later this fall.

Though nothing replaces the full sensory and communal experience of being together in-person at The Basilica for Mass and other activities, Fr. Daniel Griffith’s vision is for our community to continually reach out, going beyond our four walls, inviting people into relationship with our community and proclaiming the Good News of Christ and the saving love of God.

Melissa Streit

Director of Engagement