Niece, aunt: Archbishop a beloved ‘people person’

| May 18, 2016 | 0 Comments
Archbishop Bernard Hebda gives Communion to his aunt and godmother, Yvonne Holland, at his installation Mass May 13 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Archbishop Bernard Hebda gives Communion to his aunt and godmother, Yvonne Holland, at his installation Mass May 13 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Katie Hebda, 19, said it’s special to have an archbishop for an uncle. On the day of Archbishop Bernard Hebda’s installation Mass May 13 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, the incoming sophomore at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, described her uncle as witty, kind and awesome.

“You tell your friends that you’re going to this [installation], and it’s just totally different,” she said, “but it’s really beautiful to see someone to look up to like that. All these people here to support him, it’s crazy. He’s so loved, by not only us, but people everywhere.”

“They’re so lucky to have him here,” she added.

Archbishop Hebda’s maternal aunt and godmother, Yvonne Holland, 81, was somewhat surprised to be sitting in the Cathedral for his installation, only because he was coadjutor archbishop in Newark, New Jersey, when he was named the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ apostolic administrator in June 2015.

She wasn’t surprised, however, that he became a priest.

“I knew this day would come, from his childhood up,” she said. “Even the day his mother called me on the phone to say he was leaving for the seminary, it was like I had known it already, because he was just the type to do that, even after he was a lawyer for a year. I just knew that wasn’t going to be enough for him, just being a lawyer in the biggest law firm in the city [Pittsburgh], that he would give that all up for the Lord.”

Holland said her nephew has all the right qualities to lead the archdiocese.

“I think they’re going to come to love him dearly, because he is so good with people, and he is so humble,” she said. “I just hope the people here will give him a chance to get everything straightened out in Minnesota, because he can do a good job. I know he can.”

Tags: , ,

Category: Welcome Archbishop Hebda