Newark leader: Archbishop Hebda’s unexpected post shows God is ‘a God of surprises’

| March 24, 2016 | 0 Comments
Archbishop Bernard Head, named Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis March 24, in a Catholic Spirit file photo. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Archbishop Bernard Head, named Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis March 24, in a Catholic Spirit file photo. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Like Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Archbishop John Myers of Newark assumed his coadjutor’s role in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was short-term, and his assignment change is “a perfect example” of one of Pope Francis’ maxims: God is a God of surprises.

In a March 24 statement the day Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Hebda archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Archbishop Myers expressed gratitude and praise for Archbishop Hebda, who in 2013 was named coadjutor archbishop of Newark, positioned to take over for Archbishop Myers after he submitted his retirement in July when he turns 75.

Archbishop Hebda, 56, was named apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in June 2015. In the nine months since, he often spent time in both archdioceses each week.

“I have been both privileged and blessed to have worked closely with Archbishop Bernard Hebda here in Newark over the last two-and-a-half years,” Archbishop Myers said in the statement, noting that he has known Archbishop Hebda since the younger archbishop was a seminarian at the North American College in Rome.

“While it may have been difficult for him at times to manage the travel and commitments of serving in two large archdioceses these past months, he embraced this call from the Holy See willfully and prayerfully,” Archbishop Myers said. “His tireless, positive approach to dealing with the challenges presented him will be one of the graces that he will share with the people of the Twin Cities.”

In their conversations, Archbishop Hebda has spoken fondly of the people of the Minnesota archdiocese, Archbishop Myers said.

“The parishioners and general community of the Twin Cities have experienced what the people of Newark already have come to know — a happy spiritual leader who loves people, loves priests and religious, and who loves God and his Church,” he added. “The people of this local Church of Newark are truly grateful for all that he has done since 2013, and he will be missed.”

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Category: Welcome Archbishop Hebda