The Basilica of Saint Mary
July 22, 2017
The Basilica Landmark
Help preserve and restore America’s First Basilica!
Global Stewardship
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
Friday of week 15 in Ordinary Time, or...


Co-Cathedral of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

From its beginning, Archbishop John Ireland intended this church to be a Co-Cathedral. Named Co-Cathedral of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1966 by Archbishop Leo Binz, this official designation acknowledged the growing Catholic community in Minneapolis and its western suburbs. From the Latin word "cathedra" meaning chair, a cathedral serves as the chair of the bishop. The Archbishop is the official pastor, and the priest in charge of the church is known as rector. Confirmations for the west metro suburban parishes are held at the Basilica, as well as other special archdiocesan liturgies and activities.

The Basilica Landmark

The Friends of the Basilica of Saint Mary Foundation started in 1993 to support the preservation and restoration of The Basilica. In 2007, the Friends was reactivated as a separate 501 c 3 supporting organization, and in 2010 was renamed The Basilica Landmark. The Basilica Landmark preserves and celebrates The Basilica as a religious and cultural symbol for all people by supporting the restoration and preservation of The Basilica through educational programs, fund-raising and special events.and by encouraging the use of The Basilica as a cultural center for secular and liturgical arts. The Basilica Landmark manages the Rev. Michael J. O’Connell Endowment Fund to provide financial support for the ongoing capital needs for The Basilica campus.

Church of the Ascension

In 1999, the Basilica began a sister relationship with the neighboring parish to the north, the Church of the Ascension. Ascension has been a mainstay of the Near North Side of Minneapolis since 1890. At one time, Ascension had 1800 families in the parish and 1200 students in the school. Today, Ascension has one of the most diverse communities of any Catholic parish in the Midwest. Along with many longtime members of European descent, Ascension also has a rapidly growing Spanish-speaking community and members of African-American, African immigrant and Asian backgrounds.

Ascension School

Ascension School was started in 1897 with three Sisters of St. Joseph teachers and 160 students. Under the current leadership of Principal Dorwatha Woods Adderley, Ascension School is one of the greatest educational success stories in the entire Twin Cities metro area. The school has almost 300 students in kindergarten through eighth grade that are 95% non-white and 90% non-Catholic. Most of the students come from lower-income families and reside in the challenged North Side. This year, 100% of Ascension eighth grade students passed the standardized math test and 76% passed the reading test. Their scores are significantly higher than those in the Minneapolis Public Schools and are equivalent to scores in many suburban school districts. With strong academics, spirituality, discipline and caring, Ascension School is a successful model for other urban schools.

Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness

The Basilica is a founding member of the Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness (DCEH), a coalition of 13 interfaith congregations that educate and engage congregants in the work of the Heading Home Hennepin plan to end homelessness. DCEH ensures that all congregations are active in the full continuum of work from direct service to advocacy, working in partnership with the broad community. Read a Downtown Journal article about the work of the DCEH.

The Minneapolis Downtown Council

Comprised of business people, the council works for the betterment and common good of the downtown community. The Basilica of Saint Mary is a Council member.

Meet Minneapolis

The purpose of The Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association is to attract conventions and visitors to the Minneapolis area. The Basilica of Saint Mary is a Meet Minneapolis member.

Former Basilica Rector, Fr. Michael J. O'Connell »
Former Basilica Rector, Fr. Michael J. O'Connell continues to serve as Pastor for the Church of Ascension, a mainstay in Near North Minneapolis since 1890. Today, Ascension has one of the most diverse communities of any Catholic parish in the Midwest. [Close]

Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers (MAP)

A coalition of fifty peace and justice organizations representing thousands of individuals in Minnesota, MAP was conceived in1995 by members of the United Nations Association of Minnesota. MAP's purpose is to offer a vehicle for organizations devoted to causes of peace and justice to pool their resources, ideas and strategies to promote common goals. The Basilica of Saint Mary is a MAP member.

Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing (MICAH)

Organizing congregations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MICAH works to create policy solutions to the affordable housing crisis. MICAH's 150 members include congregations from the interfaith religious community and housing organizations. MICAH's central organizing principle is to think regionally, act locally and live faithfully: to build community support to expand the supply of affordable homes for individuals and families with low incomes; to organize grassroots citizen involvement to win public policy changes, including local, regional and state housing policy; and to advocate for fair housing and inclusive communities throughout the metropolitan area. The Basilica of Saint Mary is a MICAH member.


Weekdays and Saturday mornings, the Basilica School  is leased to KIPP Stand Academy for 5th – 8th grade, a Minnesota public charter school.  KIPP (knowledge is power program) is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college prep public shools with a track record of serving low income inner city students for success in college and in life.  More than 80% of KIPP alumni have gone on to college.  Now in 19 states, 66 KIPP schools serve over 16,000 students nationwide.

Couple to Couple League Twin Cities

Basilica parishioners have been taking NFP classes from CCL since the early 1970s.  CCL is 1) endorsed by the Minneapolis - St. Paul Archdiocese, 2) approved by the National Council of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), 3) recognized by the Vatican as authentic Lay Apostolate, and 4) a normal part of marriage preparation in numerous parishes and several US Diocese.

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