Archbishop Hebda Holds His 1st Mass in St. Paul

By Cleo Greene
July 12, 2015

[with video]

On Sunday, Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda—who was selected by Pope Francis to temporarily lead the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis—held his first mass in the Twin Cities.

Hebda’s official title is apostolic administrator of the archdiocese; a role he’s held since former Archbishop John Nienstedt resigned last month.

And on Sunday, pews were full and standing room was limited as parishioners gathered at the Cathedral of Saint Paul to see and hear from Hebda.

“Pope Francis has been reminding us that we are not only called, but we are sent," Hedba said during mass.

He said that in the midst of a crisis, the church must come together to rebuild trust and spread the Gospel.

“When we go out two by two, we have to share the praise. But that also means that at times we will have to share the blame."

Hebda shared a special prayer composed by Cardinal John Newman, focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel.

"We will be judged not only on how quickly we resolve court cases, on how astute we are on finances, on how much we live up to our credentials or reputation, but how effectively we make the love of Jesus and only Jesus present in our day."

Hebda said he wants the community to get to know him and many are eager to do so.

"He is a people person. He even took a selfie with me," parishioner Debbie Luna said.

Luna went on to say she trusts Hebda’s ability to rebuild the church community.

"I know he can do it. I know our new pope and him can do it. We have to have trust. We have to do everything we can to build the Catholic faith to be what it is."

Hebda said he will be working with staff, priests and the archdiocese to inspire and create a new energy through the parishes in the Twin Cities. He will divide his time between Minnesota and New Jersey, where he’s been preparing for nearly two years to become archbishop of Newark next year.

Hebda said the search for a new archbishop will receive serious attention in September.


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