Archbishop Bernard Hebda and DeLaSalle students share something in common – both are educated in the Lasallian tradition begun by the Christian Brothers.
Hebda visited DeLaSalle May 10, in large part to continue a tradition of the current Archbishop sharing prayer and a meal with a state championship athletic team from a Catholic high school. This visit was broader in scope than a much-deserved championship celebration. This was Hebda’s first visit to DeLaSalle, coming just three days in advance of his installation as the permanent Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
DeLaSalle students and administrators led Hebda on a tour of the school, showing him the nearly complete Center for Innovative Learning project, which is due to open in August, on budget and on schedule for the 2016-17 school year.
Hebda also observed active learning when he stopped in to Math teacher David Pearson’s Honors Algebra II class and found students working through math problems. Pearson, who recently won the Minnesota Independent School Forum’s Honor Teacher of the Year award, explained some of the many innovative techniques he uses to help students understand math concepts. Hebda spent several minutes asking students what they liked about the techniques used by Pearson and also why they chose to come to DeLaSalle.
For more than an hour, he celebrated the success of the boys’ basketball team, which made Minnesota history in March when it won its fifth straight state title. Hebda met the team for prayer in the school chapel and enjoyed lunch with the team in the dining room of the Brothers’ Residence.
Hebda traces his Lasallian roots back to his high school days in Pittsburgh, where he graduated from the Lasallian-based South Hills Catholic High School, now known as Seton-LaSalle.
Hebda was quite pastoral and engaging during his visit to the school. He has accepted DeLaSalle’s invitation to return in August to celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit, which opens the school year for the entire school community, during which he will bless the newly opened innovative learning space.