You are here
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.
There are many competing emotions and thoughts filling my heart and mind, during these COVID-19 Stay At Home days. I have fear for those who are on the frontline of this global pandemic—including my daughter who is a paramedic. I feel deep sadness for those who are suffering from the disease, as well as those who face economic devastation due to the quarantine. I feel despair as I see the way the virus has disproportionally affected the health of racial and ethnic minorities. I feel hope, as I hear stories of people who sacrifice to help another. And, forced to stay home, I feel gratitude through reclaimed meditation and prayer practices.
One of the most troubling emotions and thoughts I have is in response to the apparent politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic. These times are challenging in so many ways. And people are bound to respond to these challenges in so many ways. I admit to feelings of anger and distress as I see the deep divide COVID-19 is exposing in our society through protests and calls for choosing the economy over life. If I am honest, these feelings turn toward judgement of people who I simply don’t understand.
In one of my daily meditation books, Twenty-Four Hours A Day, the reflection for the day pierced my heart. It provided a recalibration and re-centering for my thinking:
Try never to judge. The human mind is so delicate and so complex that only its Maker can know it wholly. Each mind is so different, actuated by such different motives, controlled by such different circumstances, influenced by such different sufferings; you cannot know all the influences that have gone to make up a personality. Therefore, it is impossible for you to judge wholly that personality. But God knows that person wholly and He can change it. Leave to God the unraveling of the puzzles of personality. And leave it to God to teach you the proper understanding.
As I try to process all these emotions and thoughts, I can be overwhelmed. My faith calls me to lean on God—to trust God. Only through this surrender of my own agenda, and recommitment to see God’s presence in all, can I find understanding –and ultimately find the courage, and love to work for charity, justice and peace.
Through Holy Week, we saw Jesus endure betrayals and violence—ultimately succumbing to death on a cross. Only after going through this pain and suffering did he find the gift of resurrection and new life. So too, we must be patient and steadfast as we go through these times of desperation and suffering. We are called to know the truth deep in our heart: God is present. If we walk through these challenges with grace and confidence in God’s steadfast love and presence, we will come out the other side whole and healed—both personally and as a community.
This is not easy. But this is the challenge of our day.