Installation brings celebration of hope, humility, community

| Bridget Ryder | May 13, 2016 | 0 Comments
Archbishop Bernard Hebda speaks with a student from Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul before his installation Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul May 13. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Archbishop Bernard Hebda speaks with, Anna Hendricks, a student from Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul before his installation Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul May 13. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

The cold spell didn’t dampen the spirits of attendees at the installation Mass for Archbishop Bernard Hebda May 13 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul. Parishioners of all ages from across the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis described the liturgy as beautiful and uplifting, and they came out to welcome and honor their new shepherd.

“It’s really something unique that I won’t get to see for a long time, so it’s great to be a young person and get to experience that. Just listening to the music and watching everyone come in, it’s amazing,” Nicholas Lunsford, a senior at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, remarked as the liturgy got underway.

Lunsford also served as a greeter. Students from high schools through the archdiocese assisted with the liturgy by welcoming attendees.

Lunsford’s classmate, Joseph Koegel, was a greeter, too. Originally from New Jersey, where he attended Catholic elementary school, he is glad to see the well-known bishop now the leader of his hometown church.

“Archbishop Hebda is going to be great. I’ve heard good things about him in New Jersey and here,” he said.

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.

The sense of community also touched Ashley Cordero, also a junior at Totino-Grace.

“It was so great — all the positive people. I just felt so happy to be here,” she said.

For younger Catholics, the day was a learning experience. Jovita Morrgado, a member of the Neocatechumenal Way and Queen of Angels in Austin, in the Diocese of Winona, brought her three children.

“It’s a great experience for us to strengthen our faith, and an opportunity to teach our children about the Church,” she said.

With so many bishops present, her son, Suraj Mehta, 7, learned that not all priests with “pointy hats” are the pope.

Adults in the congregation also picked up on a message of humility.

“I just think the archbishop is such a humble [man], and it really showed today,” said Alison Kaardal, a parishioner at St. Mark in St. Paul.

Mary Jo Franske of Our Lady of Grace in Edina texted her initial reaction to her brother: “beautiful liturgy about humility and service.”

“I thought the songs were perfect because [they] focused on service and humility,” she said.

She came out for the installation because, “it’s important for us.”

“It’s family. It’s like we have a new CEO,” she said.

Larson, the Totino-Grace student, echoed the sentiment. “I am happy to have a shepherd,” he said.

Larson had never been to an installation before, and he didn’t know when the next opportunity would come, though he hopes it isn’t anytime soon.

“I hope we have him for a long time,” he said of Archbishop Hebda.

Others attended to welcome their new shepherd.

“It was just an awesome event. I’m glad to have Archbishop Hebda. I came to honor him today,” said Deacon Kevin O’Connor of St. Joseph the Worker in Maple Grove.

As the archbishop noted in his homily, the day marks a new stage for the archdiocese, one that the people in the pews also sensed.

The archdiocese is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to address hundreds of claims of clergy sexual abuse of minors, and has yet to resolve criminal charges filed in June 2015 related to a case of clergy sex abuse.

Donna Miskowiec from St. Vincent de Paul in Brooklyn Park, called the installation Mass “a beautiful celebration of happiness and hope and healing.”

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Category: Welcome Archbishop Hebda