Our faith community has experienced a year of growth, change, and renewal. As I reflect on my first year at The Basilica, it has been an important year of listening, learning, and engagement. I have appreciated the opportunity to come to know the staff and parishioners and build connections as we journey together toward a bright future. As I have said often in my first year, I have come away from countless events and liturgies remarking to myself – there is no place like The Basilica.
Throughout our parish listening sessions this winter and spring, I heard of your delight, concern, and hope for the future. Our goal as parish leaders is to digest what we heard and discern the best way to respond as we continually work for the good of our entire community. My duty as a pastor is to listen to the needs and longing of parishioners so I can best serve and accompany you on your journey of faith.
We have grown in faith together through multiple educational opportunities, including our well attended Catholic Social Teaching Lenten Series: Unlocking Our Best Kept Secret. The presenters in this series each addressed aspects of living out the Social Gospel in a world that so desperately needs greater light, generosity, justice, and peace. The response to the series was inspiring and beckons to exciting faith formation opportunities in the coming months.
As a parish, we are also committed to growing and living the principles of restorative justice which are mutual respect, inclusion, dialogue, and the resolute determination to repair harm. We held an introduction to restorative justice session this spring and will continue to build upon this work in the coming year. The Basilica truly lives a restorative justice vision that is inclusive and seeks to respond to people who experience trauma and injustice. Given this, I am excited for the future as the parish leans into the vision and values of restorative justice in the months and years ahead.
Our ministries and programs work to address the most challenging issues of our day. We held a panel discussion, Prisoners or Patients: Smarter Ways to Address Mental Illness and Public Safety, with experts who addressed mental illness and public safety, working toward positive outcomes that reduce the cost of incarceration for people with mental health issues. Our present society and world are yearning for greater health and healing as the Lord calls his disciples to be instruments of healing and light.
We reached out into the broader community with over 30 partnerships working with organizations including everything from meeting basic human needs to broader economic development efforts. These partnerships extend our reach and allow us to invite community-wide participation in the promotion of our mission and values.
Throughout the year we experienced and were transformed by our beautiful liturgies and amazing music. We said farewell to several staff members, including Teri Larson, our amazing Music Director of 28 years, and have welcomed many new staff members across departments. In May we announced a new staff realignment to foster better collaboration, communication, and organization. We remain committed to forging a path at The Basilica that is financially sustainable and spiritually enriching.
Thank you for your commitment to our parish community at The Basilica. We look forward to the coming year – carrying out our vital ministries and sharing our faith as a community rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Saint Mary, patron of this fine and venerable parish, pray for us!
Fr. Daniel Griffith
Pastor and Rector, The Basilica of Saint Mary