The Basilica of Saint Mary
July 22, 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
A map, email contact, parking information and mailing address is also available.
Weekly Musings Blog
Our pastor and staff directors share their thoughts, insights and inspirations.
Recent Publications
· Weekly Newsletter
  January 16, 2014
· Parish Bulletin
  December 27, 2013
· BASILICA Magazine
  December 6, 2013
Today's Reading
Friday of week 15 in Ordinary Time, or...


The Basilica of Saint Mary

Although, strictly speaking, one does not need architecture in order to worship, the church building often helps the act of worshipping. By its shape and its material, the building speaks of the religion that worships in it and enhances the liturgical experience. When the building sits empty, awaiting the next service, visitors are able to get a sense of the liturgy that happens there through the lingering smells, sight and sounds.

The Basilica of Saint Mary was commissioned by Archbishop Ireland (1838-1918) to house the relocated parish of the Immaculate Conception, founded in 1868. The building was designed by French architect Emmanuel Masqueray (1861-1917) in a beaux-arts style. Groundbreaking was August 7, 1907. The first Mass was celebrated on May 31, 1914 when the exterior work was finished. Interior work, begun in 1922, was near completion when Pope Pius XI named the church America's first basilica on February 1, 1926. The Basilica was made co-cathedral for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1967.

Saint Joseph Chapel

The Saint Joseph chapel was dedicated in the year 2000. Although very modern in its layout, its materials and architectural detailing, the greatest care was taken in connecting this chapel, dedicated to the husband of Mary and foster-father of Jesus, with The Basilica of Saint Mary.

Chapel of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

As part of a late twentieth century renovation, a new chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception was created at the south end of the building. The statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception was dedicated on March 26, 1876 in the Church of the Immaculate Conception. It was brought here when the parish moved to the Basilica. The statue, which was originally polychrome was restored to its present state after vandalism to the church in 1981.

Reconciliation Chapel

Dedicated to Saint Augustine, know for his dramatic conversion from a life of sin, and Saint Hildegard of Bingen, the great reconciler of the twelfth century, the reconciliation chapels are designed to enhance the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The design with the light piercing through the walls, the gilded domed ceiling, and the rough walls speak to the meeting of the human sinfulness and divine love and forgiveness in this sacrament.


© The Basilica’s interior dome »
The dome has a blue ceiling lighted by golden rays of glory. Twelve grisaille windows contain symbols of Mary, set in a medallion. Above the windows, four large paintings on canvas, each eight feet in diameter, depict the Evangelists. – Photo by Michael Jensen. [Close]
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