Sunday, the 18th week of Ordinary Time
Mass at noon: Tuesday, - Friday
Saturday at 5:00 - Sunday at 9:00, 11:15am
When the people gather for prayer, all are welcome.
Saint of the day - The Dedication of St. Mary Major Basilica
Readings for today’s Mass
The word basilica means “royal house” in Greek. In the Catholic world, a basilica is a church building that has been accorded special privileges by the pope. There are two kinds of basilicas. There are four major, or papal, basilicas: St. John Lateran, St. Peter, St. Paul Outside the Walls, and St. Mary Major, all in Rome. All other basilicas are minor or lesser.
To be designated a basilica and receive special ecclesiastical privileges, a site must meet certain criteria. They are traditionally named because of their antiquity, dignity, historical value, architectural and artistic worth, and/or significance as centers of worship, (Domus ecclesiae, 1989).
Three physical signs indicate that a church is a lesser basilica. The first is the presence of the conopaeum — a silk canopy designed with stripes of yellow and red, traditional papal colors. The second is the tintinnabulum, or bell mounted on a pole and carried in procession, along with the conopaeum, at the head of the clergy on special occasions. Third, minor basilicas have the right to display the papal symbol-- crossed keys —on banners, on furnishings, and on the seal of the basilica.
So, while St. Joseph the Worker is the diocesan cathedral, it is not a basilica. The diocesan seat of St. Louis, however, is a cathedral basilica. The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, tho it is a beautiful chapel and architecturally pleasing, does not fulfill the criteria for basilica designation.
Of the nearly 1600 basilicas in the world, 69 are in the United States. Two of them are in Wisconsin - the Carmelite Monastery, Holy Hill National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians near Hubertus and St. Josephat's in Milwaukee. It is my opinion that the Maria Angelorum Chapel at the motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, here in La Crosse, does meet the criteria for basilica designation.