Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, announced on Thursday, March 24 that Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda has been appointed as Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Archbishop Hebda had been serving as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese since June 2015, originally intended to be an interim appointment until a permanent Archbishop would be selected for the local church in Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
DeLaSalle joins with the Twin Cities Archdiocesan community of 825,000 Catholics, our fellow Archdiocesan schools, parishes, the many Catholic ministries serving those in need, religious, and those in our community of Christian and other faiths in prayerful support for the new Archbishop.
In a letter posted on the Archdiocesan website, Archbishop Hebda wrote, “When I arrived in Minnesota for the first time last June, I was but a visitor — assigned as Apostolic Administrator to help with the operations of the Archdiocese until Pope Francis named a new Archbishop. In the nine months since then, I have been blessed to witness your deep faith and your commitment to Christ’s Church, His people, and the Eucharist. I consider many of you friends.”
Acknowledging the difficult issues facing the local church, Archbishop Hebda continued, “I know from my nine months in the Archdiocese that there is much work yet to be done to overcome the significant challenges we continue to face, but I am firm in my conviction that the Lord is truly present here, even in our struggles.” He concluded his message by noting, “It has already been an honor serving you and I very much look forward to continuing to serve you and this vibrant community for as long as the Lord sees fit.”
Archbishop Hebda was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1959. Of note, he graduated South Hills Catholic High School (today named Seton-LaSalle), a Lasallian high school like DeLaSalle. He graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Political Science, and then earned a law degree from Columbia University, before entering the seminary in his hometown in Pittsburgh in 1984. Ordained a priest in 1989, Archbishop Hebda served in various parishes and ministries in Pennsylvania (including a stint as Director of the campus Newman Center at Slippery Rock University.
Moving to Rome in 1996, he served in various ministries, becoming a Bishop in 2009. He was Bishop of the Gaylord, Michigan diocese from 2009-2013, before his appointment as Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark in 2013. He speaks English and Italian fluently and also knows Spanish, French and Latin.