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Archbishop Bernard Hebda is the 12th bishop or archbishop to lead the 166-year-old Archdiocese of
St. Paul and Minneapolis, with its 825,000 Catholics and 187 parishes. He succeeds a list of bishops and archbishops with varied backgrounds and impressive legacies.
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.
Humble. Down to earth. Intelligent. Funny. Prayerful.
Talk to anyone who’s worked with Archbishop Bernard Hebda, and they’re likely to use one of those words to describe him. As a priest and, for the last six-and-a-half years, as a bishop, they say Archbishop Hebda has let his joyful personality guide all his interactions with God’s people.
Over the course of the past 11 months, I’ve come to believe that God the Father is calling us as a Church to let go of everything other than Jesus. The circumstances in which we find ourselves have left us humbled and exposed, and at times the object of public scorn and reproach. The bonds of communion that have long been the strength of this local Church have been tested and challenged as we come to grips with our past and strive to make plans for the future.
Even if they had not previously met him, Catholics attending Archbishop Bernard Hebda’s May 13 installation Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul used some of the same words to describe their new prelate: warm, personable, joyful and a good listener.
For Michael Larson, a junior at Totino-Grace High School in Fridley, the installation was his second celebration with the archbishop in a week, since he was just confirmed on Monday. Besides the episcopal encounter and the liturgy, he enjoyed meeting other high school students of the local Church.
Citing social justice efforts such as the new Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul, which has drawn the support of people of different religious traditions, the archbishop emphasized the importance of collaboration and being shrewd with resources while focusing on human needs. “If our work is to succeed, our work has to be God’s work,” he said.