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More than 150 years after Father Louis Hennepin traveled down the Mississippi River and first saw what in 1680 he named St. Anthony Falls — the site of present-day Minneapolis — French missionaries came to Minnesota filled with zeal to bring the faith to native tribes.
Those who have had some close-up contact with Archbishop Bernard Hebda during his brief time in Minnesota say they like what they’ve seen in the new ordinary of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
“He is a blessing to our archdiocese — and he speaks Spanish!” – Estela Villagrán Manancero
Located on the fourth floor of North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, 32 private rooms are designated for patients transitioning from hospital to home due to illness, injury or surgery.
A month before his installation as Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Archbishop Bernard Hebda sat down with The Catholic Spirit for a broad interview. He spoke about his mentors, his life before the seminary, and his hopes and prayers for the archdiocese.
When Archbishop Bernard Hebda — then Father Hebda — was asked by his bishop in 1996 to move to Rome to work on the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, he didn’t want to go. Despite a degree in canon law and experience living in Rome while studying at the Pontifical North American College, the priest was happy where he was: Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, an hour’s drive north of Pittsburgh.
Before he joined seminary, Archbishop Bernard Hebda spent a year working at the largest law firm in Pittsburgh, Reed Smith.
“I loved it,” he said — a fact that surprised him, since even in law school he hadn’t imagined working as a lawyer, although he was intrigued by the subject matter.