In announcements sent out early this morning, temporary administrator Bernard Hebda informed the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis that he has been given the job of Archbishop permanently. The decision of the Holy Father was made while the Archdiocese continues its meanderings through bankruptcy, while the Archdiocese is battling criminal charges against it as a corporation, and in the wake of several concerning decisions by Hebda including his failure to prevent Archbishop Nienstedt from assuming a ministerial position at a parish in Michigan, the delayed removal of a priest under investigation for possible possession of child pornography, his decision to return Reverend Paul Moudry to ministry, and his being caught off guard when criminal charges were filed against the Franciscans.

Here is Archbishop Hebda's statement to priests:

Dear Brothers,

Please pray for me as I prepare to begin my service as the next Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.  I am humbled by the Holy Father’s confidence in me and pray that I will be able to be a shepherd who imitates the One who “came to serve rather than to be served,” as we will remember at this evening’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper.    I particularly hope and pray that I as bishop will be able to be the “father, brother and friend” that Saint John Paul envisioned in Pastores Gregis

I am aware that there is still much work to be done to overcome the daunting challenges before us but I find great hope in the Sacred Triduum that we begin this day, which reminds us that we have a God who can bring Easter victory even out of the ignominy of the cross. As our Archdiocese patron, St. Paul, wrote to the Philippians, we can truly do all things through Christ who gives us strength.  

I find great comfort as well in knowing that there are already so many extraordinary laborers in this vineyard.   It will be an honor to serve with Bishop Andrew Cozzens and with you.  In the course of these past nine months, I have already been privileged to witness your deep faith and commitment to Christ’s Church, His people, and the Eucharist.  I find that inspiring. 

As I prepare to begin this new ministry, I will be counting more than ever on your prayers and support.   I pledge my best efforts in return and promise as well my prayers for you.  May the Lord of the Harvest bring fruit to our common labors.

Fraternally in Christ,

The Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda


Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis



Philo Gray
03/24/2016 8:09am

Interesting. Now Hebda has to take ownership of everything. He better get quicker at dealing with problems. I do not see this as building confidence.

03/24/2016 9:31am

If Hebda rehires Heselberger it might be a sign he is serious about reform. Heselberger has more 'corporate memory' of the archdiocese than Hebda. She can bring him up to speed.
But I seriously doubt it as the Roman hierarchy never acknowledges failures in acts but only in words.

Tom Murray
03/24/2016 9:51am

NOOOOOO! More of the same: madness and sadness. . .

03/24/2016 10:23am


Look on the bright side??? He's a civil attorney, and, as such, his primary professional legal responsibility is to the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul and NOT the parishioners. It worked out so tragically under the governance of another civil attorney RCC leader here in the City of Brotherly Love, Anthony Bevilacqua. And there is no better example then how fine the civil attorney leads his flock than in Milwaukee where Jerry Listecki, Esquire, made sure the money flowed to his legal counsel and legal services to the tune of many millions

03/24/2016 2:39pm

I wonder what the thoughts, feelings, and prayers are of those who suffered the abuse, those who are clinging onto the Church with little hope, and those who left in disgust but miss and desire the Eucharist? I can only imagine that my disappointment is finite compared to theirs.

03/24/2016 5:55pm

Thanks Jennifer.

Much easier for Pope Francis to fill Archdiocese of Newark than SPM.

Things knee deep here - getting deeper moving forward.

A moral-spiritual-legal Nightmare.

A place where saints are made.

God's good people keep praying it out; Jesus is comfortable, resting in boat - calming the storm - making things right.

A Blessed Easter Triduum.


Comments are closed.


    Jennifer Haselberger is a canon lawyer who served as the Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis until April of 2013, when she resigned in protest of the Archdiocese's handling of sexual misconduct by clergy.

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