Archbishop Hebda to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at Cathedral

| March 24, 2016 | 1 Comment
Archbishop Bernard Hebda addresses the media at a press conference March 24 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul announcing his appointment as Archbishop-Delegate for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda addresses the media at a press conference announcing his appointment as archbishop-designate for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis March 24 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

In his first public appearance as archbishop-designate of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Archbishop Bernard Hebda said March 24 that as much as he was surprised by the appointment, he was humbled by the confidence Pope Francis has in him to continue leading the archdiocese, calling the local Church influential and important in the upper Midwest.

“And yet I can assure you that I’m truly thrilled to have been chosen for this service,” Archbishop Hebda said at a press conference in the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, where he’d be celebrating Holy Thursday Mass at 7 p.m.

After greeting members of archdiocesan boards, clergy, staff and the press, Archbishop Hebda noted the suddenness of the announcement, saying Bishop Andrew Cozzens’ presence was missed. The auxiliary bishop was visiting Rome with family.

“I’m grateful that he assured me by text [message] that he offered Mass for the archdiocese this morning at St. Peter’s [Basilica] in Rome,” he said.

“I found it significant that he offered Mass for the archdiocese and not for me,” he added in jest.

Answering questions about the state of the archdiocese in the midst of bankruptcy and pending criminal charges related to clergy sex abuse, Archbishop Hebda said the archdiocese has been invested in the “important spiritual work and outreach” and that Catholics have responded “as people of faith in a very difficult situation.” He acknowledged the ongoing work regarding clergy sex abuse issues, which have been the focus in his interim role and will continue to be in the future, but he finds hope in the Triduum, a reminder that “we have a God who can bring Easter victory even out of the ignominy of the cross,” he said.

“As our archdiocesan patron, St. Paul, wrote to Philippians: ‘We can truly do all things through Christ, who gives us strength,’” he said.

Archbishop Hebda said that despite differences in areas where he’s served, he hopes some of what he’s learned about being a leader in Newark, New Jersey, and Gaylord, Michigan, will translate to local circumstances, given “that the deepest longings of the human heart are universal and timeless,” he said.

“Whether in St. Paul or Hoboken, Pine Island or Hackensack, it is Jesus and only Jesus who can satisfy those longings.”

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Category: Welcome Archbishop Hebda

  • Paula Ruddy

    Welcome, Archbishop Hebda. Thank you for accepting the appointment. We can work together in the mission of this local church.