The Basilica of Saint Mary
June 23, 2017
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The Basilica of Saint Mary
We are located on Hennepin Avenue between 16th & 17th Streets in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Phone: 612.333.1381
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Recent Publications
· Weekly Newsletter
  January 16, 2014
· Parish Bulletin
  December 27, 2013
· BASILICA Magazine
  December 6, 2013
Today's Reading
Thursday of week 11 in Ordinary Time, or...


Father Hennepin Honored

The early 1930s under President Hoover were the worst years of Depression for the United States and the Western world. Millions were without jobs and hungry. There was hopelessness and despair throughout the country. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1933, and within 100 days of his election despair turned to hope: Roosevelt's "New Deal" gave 500 million dollars in government money for food, shelter and cash for the destitute.

Minneapolis mirrored the country's history: numerous photos and stories in the state's archives recount the bleak days of the Depression.

For the Basilica of Saint Mary the 1930s are remembered for a number of very special events. The parish covered a large area and had a diverse congregation; the building was often full to capacity with people participating in celebrations and anniversaries. Photographs show large crowds at the events filling the streets around the building.

1930 marked the 250th anniversary of Father Hennepin's discovery of the Falls of Saint Anthony. To commemorate the event, the Knights of Columbus dedicated a copper statue of Father Hennepin; Father Reardon presided over the ground-breaking ceremonies.

A new archbishop of the Saint Paul Diocese, Archbishop John Gregory Murray, celebrated a pontifical Mass at the Basilica on January 31, 1932, one week after his ordination. In the summer of 1930 Father Reardon and a group of about forty persons from Minnesota went on a pilgrimage to parts of Europe and Africa. The Minneapolis Daily Star photo shows the group as it emerged from an audience with Pope Pius XI. The trip included visits to France, Ireland, Scotland, and a visit to the Passion Play at Oberammergau and the International Eucharistic Congress in Carthage, North Africa.

On May 28, 1933, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the Pro-Cathedral, forerunner of the Basilica, was celebrated with a pontifical Mass. The newly appointed Archbishop Murray officiated.

On September 11, 1938, the anniversary of the birth of Archbishop John Ireland was celebrated with a bronze memorial tablet dedicated and blessed by Archbishop Murray.

© The Father Hennepin Memorial »
A statue honoring the Belgian priest-explorer Father Louis Hennepin. Dedication: October 12, 1930. – Basilica archives [Close]
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