2018 Parish Council Candidates

We are in need of two parishioners to serve on our Parish Council—one to represent our Christian Life Department, and the other to represent the Learning Department. By filling out this ballot, you will help elect two new members to the Council.

We are pleased to announce our candidates, who are well qualified and exhibit the spirit of stewardship, volunteerism, and leadership that make The Basilica of Saint Mary such a special place.

Please take a few minutes to read the biographies included on the following pages. They are written in each candidate’s own words and chronicle their personal commitment to The Basilica and its vital programs.

When you have reviewed each candidate's statement please click here to vote. Every adult parishioner in each household is entitled to vote.  Deadline for voting is 5:00pm Monday, June 4.

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Please vote only once.


Christian Life

The Basilica Christian Life department embodies the many ways we serve one another and work for justice. Volunteer opportunities include caring, charity and justice ministries. Together, we work to serve, accompany and defend one another.

Aara Johnson

Aara Johnson
Member since 2011

I was baptized at The Basilica in 1987 and I serve our Basilica community in a variety of ways. I called The Basilica home after graduating from DePaul University and growing in Vincentian spirituality. Absolute balance between prayer and action drives my vocational journey as a disciple. I was on the Global Stewardship Committee, and I lead The Basilica Snack Pack. I participated in Basilica Young Adults/Women, Leadership in Discipleship training, and was a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) sponsor.

I will serve on the council to consciously and prayerfully plan for our future. My leadership experience as President during periods of institutional transition and evolution resulted in success: Peace Corps Colombia’s Volunteer Advisory Committee, University of Minnesota’s Public Affairs Student Association, and DePaul’s Catholic Campus Ministry. To experience Christian Life begs us to desire spiritual growth, radical hospitality, and Biblical justice. I am a Program Director at the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership.


Erik Miles

Erik Miles
Member since 1998 - Incumbent

I have been attending The Basilica’s masses since the late eighties when I relocated from Alexandria Virginia. The Basilica has been a part of my ups and downs over the years. “A traditional Church with a modern message” is what keeps me wanting to do more to help our community. 

On most Thursday evenings you can find me volunteering at Pathways. This program has been ongoing for over 15 years. There are so many gifted people at The Basilica that are willing to share their talents. This is what makes The Basilica a beacon for so many in the area.

I love the collaborative process when everyone is working to find ways to do good. I would like to be considered for the Parish Council to help move forward the vision of creating a tsunami of care and love for all people.



Providing quality lifelong learning and faith formation opportunities for children, youth, families, and people of all ages to engage with Christian scripture, Catholic teachings and traditions, and sacramental preparation.

Xander Broeffle

Xander Broeffle
Member since 2014

I am passionate about the success of The Basilica. As a parishioner, I’m engaged in multiple ministries, including the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Team, Gift Leadership Team, Ushers/Hospitality Team; and also serve as a Eucharistic Minister.

I am excited to work with others across the Learning Department to advocate for their needs with the Parish Council. From my professional career, I bring skills that will benefit the Parish Council. I work with multiple teams and facilitate discussions to make sure that everyone has a say in the strategic direction of a project. These skills will be useful, especially as The Basilica casts a new vision for its strategic direction.

Wilson Moy

Wilson Moy
Member since 1996


We found a home and a family at The Basilica. As our family grew to 4 kids, so did the richness and depth of our experiences at The Basilica as we shared baptisms, first reconciliations, first communions, and confirmations. Our family is active in the Learning Ministry. My daughter, Maria, and I are 5th grade catechists, my wife, Michele, teaches 3rd and 4th grade, and my sons, William and Jack, work in the school office supporting the Sunday school teachers and the nursery.

We have also been fortunate and blessed to be part of the St. Vincent de Paul Shoe ministry, the first Basilica Block Party, and The Basilica Undercroft transformation. Outside of The Basilica, I have worked in product design for thirty years, using my electrical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota. I am also active in the Boy Scouts of America, youth sports, and Wayzata High School Orchestra boosters. Over 20 years, what has remained steadfast and vibrant is my loving relationship with The Basilica of Saint Mary and an enduring optimism for the future of our parish community.



Matt Nowakowski

Matt Nowakowski
Member since 2015

I’ve been married for 27 years to Christine, and our daughter Veronica is a sophomore at Benilde St. Margaret’s.

As Catholic educators, our greatest hope is that no one in our communities feel that they are unheard, unappreciated, or unrepresented. The Basilica offers an important sanctuary for community involvement and spiritual development. Both for those who seek active fellowship opportunities, as well as those who wish to develop a deeper sense of interiority.

I have been teaching for 27 years. For the last 10 years, I have worked at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), and currently serve as an Associate Professor. My educational background includes a B.S.E. (Biology and History) from the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, and a M.B.A. from Edgewood College, and an Ed.D.-Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. I am a graduate of the Buttimer Institute for LaSallian Studies in Moraga, California, and International Association of LaSallian Universities Leadership Program, Rome, Italy.