When I arrived at The Basilica today, a large crowd was outside by the southwest church doors. They were waiting for our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry to open. I was grateful that the weather was at least tolerable. It is hard to consider how many people are going without the very basic needs of living like shelter and food to eat.
Our St. Vincent de Paul and Outreach ministries have so many facets. Our staff and volunteers offer support every week with respect and dignity. Did you know we partner with a local organization called “Good in the Hood? Wednesday after Thanksgiving, they were on site at The Basilica and provided more than 100 pairs of footwear for men, women, and kids. Many volunteers pitched in to make this happen.
So many other offerings have positive impacts on people’s lives. Side by Side Saturday invites parishioners and our neighbors who are homeless to come together for experiences, relationship building and discussions. Volunteer mentors work with Minneapolis College students who are or have been homeless, and the students receive a scholarship for tuition.
Another 30 volunteers help with SVdP’s weekly outreach. Other volunteers make sandwiches and serve meals in partnership with Loaves and Fishes and Catholic Charities. Dedicated gifts to St. Vincent de Paul are always welcome.
These and all the ministries at The Basilica are defined by strong partnerships of volunteers and Basilica staff, often in collaboration with strategic community partners. Working together keeps the wheels churning and advancing this important work week after week.
You may not realize that our parish supports the staffing of these important ministries through The Basilica Fund. Unfortunately, parish income continues to lag behind where it needs to be to support our ministries, staffing and operations. It is only with your help that we can continue to serve our parish, our neighbors and our city. As you consider your giving this Christmas, please remember The Basilica Fund.
Your gifts to The Basilica support so much critical work. As we prepare for Christmas, over 40 volunteers finished putting birch trees around The Basilica’s altar and setting up the enormous Advent wreath in the center of Church. Our beautiful Advent Vespers at 3:00pm on Sundays offers attendees beauty, peace and calm in the midst of a busy, stressful season. There is incredible, inspiring music by our Basilica volunteer choirs and musicians.
Beyond the inspirational music, liturgies and ministries, there is so much happening behind the scenes. Staff and volunteers partner to take care of our buildings and grounds. They set and reset tables and chairs, as we cycle through multiple activities each day. They take out trash and recycling – none of this work is glamourous but it is critical to our mission of hospitality and welcome.
Your gifts to The Basilica Fund support so many important ministries and our staffing and operations. Please be generous this Christmas. We are grateful for your presence at The Basilica, but we also need your financial support this Christmas to keep this good work happening and our parish thriving. Please make a one time or recurring gift to The Basilica Fund. Together we can sustain and grow our Basilica community.
Give today at mary.org/give.
Managing Director of Mission Advancement
The Basilica of Saint Mary
Executive Director of The Basilica Landmark