Archives: June 2018

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

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. http://usccb.org/bible/readings/061018.cfm 

This Sunday we return to what is known as “Ordinary Time” in our Church’s calendar.   It is called Ordinary Time, to distinguish it from the seasons of Advent/Christmas and Lent Easter.  At the beginning of our Gospel this Sunday we are told that when the crowds gathered around Jesus his relatives “set out to seize him for they said: ‘He is out of his mind’.”   In the verses that follow, Jesus responded to the people who questioned whether he was using demonic power to case out demons by telling them:  “How can Satan drive out Satan?”   He then told them:  “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.  For they had said: “He has an unclean spirit.”   The Gospel closes with Jesus’ family finally arriving.   When told his family had arrived, Jesus responded by saying: “Here are my mother and my brothers.   For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”      

While our Gospel today is a bit of a hodgepodge in regard to its meaning. It does tell us, though, that  people were suspicious and even hostile toward Jesus because he did not conform to their expectations. Their resistance to Jesus was fueled by the suggestion from the religious leaders that he was out of his mind and/or possessed by Satan.     More importantly, though, this Gospel also reminds us that those who believe in and seek to follow Jesus are in a new relationship with Jesus and with each other.   We are brother and sister, mother and father to one another.  

Our first reading this Sunday is from the Book of Genesis.  It records the aftermath of the sin of Adam and Eve.   The point of the story is that when sin entered the world our relationship with God changed.  The mutuality and the close and open relationship with God that humans once enjoyed was forever changed because of sin. 

Our second reading this Sunday is taken from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.   In it St. Paul reminded the early Christians (and us) that when we encounter pain and difficulties --- even the pain associated with death that we are not to be discouraged.  “For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comprehension, as we look not to what is seen, but to what is unseen; for we know that what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.”   

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. Why is it easy to think of some people as our brothers and sisters, and not so easy for us to think of others as brothers and sisters? 
  2. How do you imagine our relationship with God was before sin entered the world?
  3. Our second reading today is often used at funerals.   What do you find most consoling about it?  
May 31, 2018
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 
 
By now, I hope you have heard the good news that an agreement has been reached to resolve the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese. Thank you for your prayers.
 
The consensual agreement, reached after much hard work, establishes a trust fund totaling approximately $210 million that will be available for the resolution of the bankruptcy claims. It also includes a provision that will enable the parishes of the Archdiocese and related Catholic institutions to avoid further litigation stemming from these claims, thereby enabling us to carry on our mission of spreading and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  
  
I am particularly grateful to the victims/survivors who have bravely come forward.  Without their courage and persistence, this resolution would not have been possible. The Church let them down, and we are humbled that they now allow us to begin to make amends. We will all need to do more to let them know that they are always truly welcome in our parishes. 
 
I am also grateful to Judge Robert Kressel for the direction he provided, which led to this settlement, and to Magistrate Arthur Boylan and Paul Van Osselaer for their extraordinary efforts as our mediators. They were true, honest brokers in working with all parties.  
 
Gratitude is owed as well to the many advocates who worked so passionately on behalf of survivors. They, along with the legal counsel representing the parishes, played a vital role in helping us all find a path to a just and fair resolution. 
 
I am especially grateful to our legal team from Briggs and Morgan, who worked tirelessly to analyze, address and advance this matter for over three years, while respecting our Gospel values and objectives. Also, I would be remiss if I failed to thank Tom Abood, the chair of the Archdiocesan Finance Council, who, as chair of our Reorganization Task Force led the negotiations on behalf of the Archdiocese. The advice given by the Finance Council, our Corporate Board, and the College of Consultors proved to be of inestimable value and once again highlighted the importance of consultation. 
 
I realize that many others deserve gratitude, especially those of you who have been so faithful throughout these most difficult of times, relying on our Lord in the Eucharist and on your families, friends, and clergy for strength during these challenging months. I am grateful that you enabled our parishes to continue to be vibrant centers where all can encounter Christ. Please continue to reach out in love and generosity to those around you who are hurting and are in need of healing.   
 
Even as we take this important step forward in providing justice to survivors of abuse, we know our work in this regard is not complete. Our Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment team – under the direction of Judge Tim O’Malley – will continue its work on demonstrable actions to ensure our churches, schools and communities are safe places for all. Our December 2015 Settlement Agreement with the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, establishing what County Attorney John Choi called “unprecedented” child safety policies, continues to be the national standard for maintaining safe environments.  Our progress reports to the court since that time give continued evidence of our commitment to permanent change. The bankruptcy settlement gives us yet another opportunity to reaffirm our efforts to protect children and vulnerable adults. 
 
While this agreement marks the end of a difficult period for many, it also signals a new beginning. The completion of the bankruptcy process allows us to pursue a new day that has many realities – atonement, healing and restoration of trust.
    
In closing, I ask that you continue to pray for those who have been harmed, for your pastors and all the priests who faithfully serve this Archdiocese, and for the faithful men and women who strengthen this local Church by their perseverance, their example, and their generous service. 
 
With every personal best wish and prayer, I remain     
        
Sincerely in Christ,
 
Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

 

 

 

 

 

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