The Basilica of Saint Mary
March 30, 2017
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Promote peace throughout the world in December and January.
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
Wednesday of the 4th week of Lent

Faith Sharing Groups

Women’s Spirituality Group

First and Third mondays, 1:30-2:30pm
Dease room, Cowley Center.
This group is designed for women who would like to meet with other women to discuss books that intersect with your faith, discuss the Sunday scripture, and explore how we live as Catholic women on our spiritual journeys. Bring an open heart and a questioning mind. There is no cost to attend, though participants will be responsible for purchasing their own books. Register on-line or contact Michelle 612.317.3414 if you are interested.

Men's Book Study

1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month
7:00-8:00am
St. Ambrose/Theresa Room, Ground Level
The Men’s Book Study group will continue to meet the first and third Thursdays of the month. The group is always open to new members. Contact Michelle 612.317.3414 for details.

Faith Sharing Groups

Meet members of The Basilica community, who will offer you their prayer and support. Nourish your spirit and deepen your faith and your relationship with God, yourself and others.

Trained volunteer facilitators will coordinate each group and ensure that the experience is beneficial for everyone involved. A booklet will lead groups through the sessions, which include prayer, scripture, faith-sharing, and a call to service. Groups meet once a week in the home of the facilitator or a member of the group, or at The Basilica. Participants will be put into groups based upon their meeting day/time and location preferences. Contact Michelle Slaughter 612.317.3414 for information.

Why did Faith Sharing Groups begin?

Drawn together by their shared faith, the early Christians felt bound in partnership to God’s own Spirit. This communal bond among them lowered the social boundaries of race, status and gender. Among those baptized in Christ, the distinctions between Greek and Jew, free person and slave, female and male, would not prevail. (Gal 3.27)

The challenge of community is alive in the church today. Catholics, lost in the size of today’s modern parishes, look for more significant ways to share their spiritual life and hopes. To nourish this sense of belonging, parishes encourage small groups for prayer and study, recovery and reconciliation, for spiritual formation and social action.

Many of us long to be part of a group of people who are bound together by trust, cooperation and purpose. We also strive for independence and individualism in the midst of finding who we are. We struggle to balance the two. We want and need the support that comes from being with people who share our deepest values, yet we are threatened by the very thought of it. The call to community arises amid these contradictions.

Why are Faith Sharing Groups Needed in Today’s Church?

Amid our busy, distracted lives, we long to belong. As followers of Jesus, we hunger for community, for a home where our faith finds nourishment. We yearn for a gathering that welcomes our gifts and respects our wounds. We long for an assembly that can enkindle our faith in the face of an often cold world. We struggle to find a connection between our life and the Christian story.

Our lives are so fast paced that we spend little time reflecting on the meaning of life. This results in a non-reflective people: people working and playing at life but not spending one hour a week reflecting on their life and its events and meaning. When we miss what goes on in everyday life, we can miss God too. Faith Sharing Groups provide this missing need for reflection on one’s experience. They slow people down, help them recall the day or week in quiet time and help them learn to listen to themselves and others. Each person’s life is sacred. Eventually, they begin to know their lives are important.

As the process of reflection continues in the small group, they begin to see how God speaks to us in the events of the day. The group begins to trust their experience and a change takes place. The change most likely will not be drastic, but there will be a change. Quite ordinary people begin to believe in their lives and look for God as a part of their lives.

In almost every century of Christian history, small groups have sprung up to provide what the larger church cannot provide.

©Small Christian Community Gathering »
Members of one of our Small Christian Communities celebrate their closing gathering together. Small Christian Communities meet each Lent at The Basilica. Photo by Rich Colombo. [Close]

“The group of believers was one in mind and heart. No one said that any of their belongings was their own, but they all shared with one another everything they had. Day after day they met as a group in the temple, and they had their meals together in their homes, eating with glad and humble hearts, praising God, and enjoying the good will of all the people.”  - Acts 4.32, 2.46

What are Faith Sharing Groups?

Whenever people discover they share common concerns, a basis for community arises. These common interests move people to come together to discuss, to plan, to act in common in light of their concerns. Community begins in this context of communication and commitment to common goals.

A Faith Sharing Group is a caring group of 10-12 adult parishioners who meet on a regular basis (or during Lent) and become a group that prays together, is supportive of one another, is enriched by the diversity of its members, and participates in continued learning and reflects on the scriptures and their connection to everyday life. The group also reaches out in service to others.

A Faith Sharing Group is more than a prayer group, a bible study, a faith sharing group or a service-oriented group.  It is all of the above because it is like the church which is all of the above. It is a group of people meeting together and taking time to communicate, sharing life and faith, valuing one another and eventually belonging to one another, connecting with the church’s story and reaching out in service.

The purpose of the Faith Sharing Group is to be an instrument of conversion. What is conversion? Conversion is when a person’s relationship with Jesus changes one’s way of thinking, being and acting to become more like him. Values, beliefs and behaviors change. Conversion happens not only for the individual but for the Faith Sharing Group participants and the entire parish community.

What Happens at
Faith Sharing Groups?

Prayer: We recognize that God is the center of our lives and is the initiator of grace to provide change.

Sharing: We reflect upon and share God’s action in our lives for we are uniquely different. This deepens our own belief and understanding of God’s love for each one of us.

Mutual Support: We're not alone in our struggles. We need one another to live courageous, faith-filled lives.

Continued Learning: Being formed and informed Catholic Christians is important. Therefore, in the small groups the Sunday Gospel is read and reflected upon by all.

Outreach: When we are called by God to live in communion with God, we are called into relationship with one another. Our concern, care and love of others is a measure of our love for God. It's through outreach that we share in the mission of Jesus. New insights and revelations about God change our way of thinking and acting. Our parish communities, families and workplaces can become communities where the Gospel is alive.

What Else Do I Need to Know about Faith Sharing Groups?

* A Faith Sharing Group is small—usually not more than 10-12 adults.
* The Faith Sharing Group usually meets in the home of one of its members.
* The Faith Sharing Group meets for six weeks during Lent.
* The Faith Sharing Group has some scripture reflection/sharing each week.
* The Faith Sharing Group emphasizes personal relationships and sharing, working, and celebrating together.
* Faith Sharing Groups participate in some kind of social outreach. What they experience together overflows to others in Christian service.
* Faith Sharing Groups are formed according to the day and time of the week convenient for all its members.
* Group facilitators will be trained to be Faith Sharing Group leaders.

The precious gift of Faith Sharing Groups is that they provide a process
that intentionally helps its participants to connect the Word of God with their daily lives.

For more information, call the Learning Office at 612.317.3414.

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