Ascension Church


Get a flu shot at Ascension

Free flu shots will be available in the Ascension Catholic School cafeteria on Sunday, Dec. 14, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.  The clinic is sponsored by the Minnesota Immunization Network Initiative.  No registration is needed.


Please call the parish office at 612 529-9684 if you have questions.

Advent: God is with us

During the Season of Advent, which begins on Sunday, Nov. 30, we often hear the word Emmanuel. As Fr. Michael O’Connell so often emphasizes, Emmanuel means GOD IS WITH US.
So, while it is true that Advent is a preparation for Christmas, calling us to prepare our hearts and souls for Christ’s coming, it is good for us to remember that the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is always with us, always resides in us.
Certainly we experience Jesus in a special way, spiritually and emotionally, at Christmas. So, too, at Christmas Emmanuel comes to us in a special way; Jesus is born in human form as a baby in a manager. We celebrate that special Emmanuel that is so emphatically announced throughout the Season of Advent.
GOD IS WITH US during Advent, at Christmas, always!
Please join us in worship this Advent and Christmas season.

A blessing for the Visitation Sisters


The Ascension Parish community celebrated with the sisters of the Visitation Monastery and honored them for their 25 years of service on the North Side.


Each of the sisters – Katherine, Mary Margaret, Virginia, Suzanne, Karen and Mary Frances – participated in the mass in a special way.  After the mass, pastor Fr. Michael O’Connell, parish administrator Patty Stromen and the entire community gave the sisters a blessing and thanked them for the wonderful presence in the neighborhood.


Here are some scenes from the morning:



A Successful Christmas Boutique

Many people came to Ascension’s Christmas Boutique on Nov. 2. They browsed the hand-crafted items, found treasures at the This ‘N’ That sale, bid on baskets in the silent auction, and ate pancakes, sausages and pozole.


A new feature this year was the Take a Chance, thanks to Barb Charbonneau.  She solicited businesses who generously donated gift cards and other items.  People bought ten chances for $5 and placed their names into drawings to win a card of their choice.



The Day of the Dead Tradition

The Day of the Dead or, el Día de los Muertos, is celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The celebration focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.

In Mexico, this fiesta, for it is a celebration of life, traditionally takes place in connection with the Catholic feast days of All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2).


Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and drinks of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.


These altars and the festivities that are a part of this tradition — such as repainting tombs in bright colors, having masses of remembrance in cemeteries and creating a subdued picnic atmosphere among the graves — remind the deceased that they are not forgotten. For the living, it is a time to remember our loved ones, to welcome their spirits among us and to celebrate memories of the deceased.


Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. Today, similar celebrations take place around the world as people gather at cemeteries to pray for their beloved dead.


Elements of the Altar of the Dead and their meaning:


Candles: Flame = “light”, faith & hope. Reminds us of the ascension of the spirit.

Resin/Incense: Offered by the natives to their gods; it is an element that accompanies prayer and praise. Fragrance is a sign of reverence; smoke a sign of passing from life to death.

Flowers: It is thought that the fragrances and colors help the spirit in its ascent to heaven; symbol of festivity.

Bread: symbol of fraternal offering; “Body of Christ”; special bread is made just for this celebration.

Plate with favorite foods: Represents loving remembrance of the deceased and “nourishment” for the soul.

Fruit: Offering provided by nature; “nourishment” for the souls that come to taste their “smells.”

Photos & religious icons/statues: Remembrance of loved ones & saints to whom they had a devotion, or to whom the family members ask for intercession.



You are invited to bring photos of your deceased loved ones to place on our Altars of the Dead; please label the back with your name and contact information.


Sources: Office of Hispanic Ministry, Diocese of Grand Rapids, MI. Journey, 10/2007, p.10-11, and adaptations of

It's Christmas in November

Please join us for Ascension’s annual Christmas Boutique and Pancake breakfast on Sunday, Nov. 2. Bring the family and have your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus.


There will be a silent auction and homemade baked goods for sale. Dance group Folkorico Esencia Mexicana will entertain beginning at 11 a.m.


If you have questions or would like to donate items for our silent auction, call or email Aurora at 612 529-9684.



Fr. Michael featured at 'Over Coffee'

Fr. Michael O’Connell will the be featured speaker at “Over Coffee” on Thursday, October 23, from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 4801 France Ave. South, Minneapolis.
This event is free and open to the public.
The “Over Coffee” series was started by Good Shepherd in 1995. It is motivated by the conviction that the church, as a public institution, provides a platform where all issues of human concern can be discussed.
Other speakers in this season’s series include Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Minneapolis School Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson and the Rev. Dr. Mark Hanson, presiding Bishop Evangelical Lutheran Church in America from 2001 to 2013.
More information

Ascension to host chief and mayor


Church of the Ascension is hosting one of three community conversations with Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Mayor Betsy Hodges. The meeting, called “Let’s Move Forward,” is on Tuesday, Oct. 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the church.


This forums, which is open to the public, will help the Minneapolis Police Department connect with our neighborhoods and communities and will move us all closer to our collective goal of increasing public safety and public trust.


Continued community engagement is an extension of Harteau’s MPD 2.0 plan. The plan gets officers out of cars, putting them out on the streets to connect face-to-face with residents. It also creates a culture of accountability and provides a greater level of transparency for all the stakeholders in the city.