The Basilica of Saint Mary
June 26, 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
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Holy Orders

Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles is exercised in the Church until the end of time. It is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate and diaconate (Catechism of the Catholic Church, § 1356).


The word ordo or order is taken from the Roman times, when it designated a group of people. It was mostly used to refer to a governing body. The Latin word ordinatio means incorporation into such an ordo.

The Catholic tradition has numerous such orders: the order of catechumen; the order of virgins; the order of spouses; the order of widows; religious orders that denote groups of monks or nuns who live according the same religious rule. There also is the ordo episcoporum (bishops), the ordo presbyterorum (priests) and the ordo diaconorum (deacons).

The Latin verb “ordination,” or ordering, was used to incorporate a person into a specific order. These ordinations could be elaborate or simple ceremonies comprised of a consecration or blessing.

Today the word ordination is only used when referring to the sacramental act by which a man is integrated into the order of bishops, presbyters, or deacons. Through the laying on of hands, a consecratory, and an anointing for bishops and presbyters, the ordaining bishop(s) confer(s) a gift of the Holy Spirit that allows for the celebration of the sacraments proper to the respective order of bishop, priest and deacon.


Bishops, presbyters and deacons are ordained for sacred ministries that differ, one from the other.
A bishop, by virtue of his ordination, is the direct successor of the Apostles. His principle task is to teach, sanctify and shepherd the members of the Church.
A presbyter is ordained to assist the bishops in their ministry, and are tasked with celebrating the Eucharist, administering the Sacraments and spreading the Good News.
A deacon is ordained to assist the bishops and priests. They assist at the Eucharist, distribute Holy Communion, baptize, bless marriages, proclaim and preach the Gospel, preside over funerals and above all, dedicate themselves to ministries of charity.

© Archbishop Harry J. Flynn »
Archbishop Harry J. Flynn presides at a Basilica Eucharist. The miter and crosier are symbols of the office of a bishop. – Photo by Gregg Felsen. [Close]

People who believe they are called to ordained ministry or to the religious life may contact the archdiocesan office for vocations at 651.962.6890.

Gift of Self Dinners for women and men contemplating a vocation in Religious Life.

All Christians are called to be a gift of self to one another, and not just with family members and friends. Some of us are also called by God to be total gift of self to the People of God, the Church - as prayerful catalysts of spirituality and active-love among other disciples of Jesus Christ.

Archbishop Flynn is hosting Dinners for women and men contemplating a possible calling, or those others have recognized as possibly called. For additional information, contact Susan Pitman or visit Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul Office of Vocations.

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