In the year 2002, Shri Saibaba’s grace and blessings manifested itself as the initiative to have a place of worship for Shri Saibaba in Minneapolis, MN. Shirdi Saibaba Prayer Center Inc., was formed as a non-profit organization. In September 2002, an apartment was rented for the Prayer Center, and a marble idol of Sri Saibaba consecrated by Guruji Shri CB Satpathy ji, an eminent Sai devotee, and brought to Minneapolis from Chicago, was installed by the devotees. The Prayer Center was open every day and for regular gatherings of devotees and for weekly satsangs. Sai devotees celebrated festivals including Sri Ramavanami, Guru Poornima, Diwali, Sri Saibaba Punyathithi, and New Years Day.
In July 2006, the Prayer Center acquired and moved to the building at 1835 Polk St NE, Minneapolis. This place was formerly Hindu Mandir of Minneapolis, and prior to that it was a place of worship for Japanese, and a Church for Swedish immigrants. The building, after purchased by the Prayer Center, was remodeled to have a central pedestal for a life size marble idol of Sri Saibaba, and Sri Saibaba pranapratishta (idol installation) ceremony was performed on September 15, 2007.
Sri Saibaba Mandir also participates in the community events very actively. Volunteers participate in feeding programs such as “Meals on Wheels”, Salvation Army, Feed My Hungry Children, Adopt a Family program for needy children in Minnesota, Donation of winter clothing to needy children of Minnesota, Hunger Relief program of Heartland second Harvest of Minnesota, and feeding programs in various parts of India. Notable contributions in the past years include donations to Indian Prime Minister’s fund for Tsunami victims in 2005, “Save a Child’s Heart by Apollo Hospital and Deccan Chronicle in 2005, Red Cross for earth quake victims of Haiti, Donations to Sankara Netralaya, victims of natural disasters, and other to other needy.
VOLUNTEER DRIVEN ORGANIZATION
OPEN TO ALL
A committee made up of devotees, with the help of the priest and other volunteers, manages day to day activities of the Mandir. The committee is open to everyone and by Sri Saibaba’s grace and presence the committees so far have been formed by consensus and unity and not by voting, and members take up specific functions in support of the regular services at the Mandir. The Mandir has a website www.saibabamn.org and publishes a weekly electronic newsletter, to share Sri Saibaba's message, devotees' experiences, and other reading material on Shri Saibaba.