Bernard Hebda
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Bernard Hebda

Bernard Anthony Hebda

Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Hebda in 2018
ArchdioceseSaint Paul and Minneapolis
AppointedMarch 24, 2016
InstalledMay 13, 2016
PredecessorJohn Clayton Nienstedt
OrdinationJuly 1, 1989
by Donald Wuerl
ConsecrationDecember 1, 2009
by Allen Henry Vigneron, Francesco Coccopalmerio, and Patrick R. Cooney
Personal details
Born (1959-09-03) September 3, 1959 (age 60)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Previous post
Alma materHarvard University, Columbia University, Pontifical Gregorian University
Motto"Only Jesus." (Mark 9:8)
Coat of arms
Coat of arms of Bernard Anthony Hebda.svg
Styles of
Bernard Anthony Hebda
Coat of arms of Bernard Anthony Hebda.svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop

Bernard Anthony Hebda (born September 3, 1959) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who is serving as the twelfth ordinary Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis on March 24, 2016.

Prior to his installation as the archbishop of the Twin Cities, Hebda had served as both the Apostolic Administrator of that archdiocese since June 2015, as well as the Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark since September 2013. Before that, he was the Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord from 2009-2013, as well as in the Roman Curia on the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

Besides English, he speaks Italian and knows Latin, French, and Spanish.[1]

Early life and education

Hebda was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1959 in the community of Brookline. He attended South Hills Catholic High School (now Seton-La Salle Catholic High School), and then attended Harvard University, where he earn a BA in political science in 1980. He earned a JD from Columbia Law School at the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law in 1983.

He entered the seminary and studied philosophy at the Saint Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh from 1984 to 1985. He lived at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and attended the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1985-1988) and a licentiate in Canon Law (1988-1990).


On July 1, 1989, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, where he held the following positions: assistant priest at the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Ellwood City (1989), personal secretary to Bishop Donald Wuerl and Master of Ceremonies (1990-1992), and pastor in solidum at the Prince of Peace Parish in Pittsburgh (South Side) (1992-1995), Judge of the Diocesan Tribunal (1992-1996), and Director of the Newman Center at Slippery Rock University (1995-1996).

He worked in Rome at the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts beginning on September 10, 1996. On February 16, 2000, he was named a monsignor. From 2003 he served as under-secretary of the Pontifical Council.

In Rome, Hebda was also an adjunct spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College and confessor to the Missionaries of Charity. He lived at the Villa Stritch, a residence for American priests working for the Holy See. On October 16, 2009, following the announcement of his appointment as a bishop, the community at the Pontifical North American College presented him with a pectoral cross and crosier.


Diocese of Gaylord


On October 7, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI named Hebda the fourth Bishop of Gaylord, Michigan.[2] Hebda was consecrated to the episcopate and installed in the Diocese on December 1, 2009, at Saint Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral.[3] In November 2013, Hebda was elected to chair the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).[4]

Archdiocese of Newark

Coadjutor Archbishop

Hebda was appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark on September 24, 2013,[5] where Archbishop John Myers said he had asked for the appointment of someone to assist him as he approached retirement age.[6] Hebda chose a dormitory at Seton Hall University as his residence.[7] He defended Myers against complaints he had spent an extravagant amount on living quarters for his retirement, noting he had lived in shared quarters at the cathedral rectory in Newark for thirteen years.[8]

Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Apostolic Administrator

Hebda in 2017

On June 15, 2015, Pope Francis accepted the resignations of Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee A. Piché of Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, who cited the provision of Canon Law that advises the resignation of a bishop who "become[s] less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause". The same day Pope Francis appointed Hebda its Apostolic Administrator to serve until a new archbishop would be installed, although Hebda remained as the Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark.[9][10]

In September Hebda met with representatives of the Minnesota chapter of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, a group his predecessor had not been warm to. They discussed how the laity could participate in defining the needs of the archdiocese and what it expects from its next archbishop. Hebda said "was delighted to learn that they share my interest in engaging in a wide consultation of the faithful in assessing the needs of the archdiocese" and "I was also happy to share with them some of the preliminary plans for that consultation, and appreciated their input and offer of collaboration."[11] He organized a series of public meetings-"listening sessions"-throughout the diocese to allow Catholic parishioners, clergy, and employees to express their views on the appointment of a new archbishop.[12][13]

During his term as administrator, the Archdiocese reached agreement on a civil settlement with officials of Ramsey County on procedures to prevent child sexual abuse. It provided for judicial oversight for three years. The civil case was settled in December under a plan that allowed for more oversight of the church. Attorneys for both sides used the hearing process in the civil case to announce new steps aimed at reinforcing that agreement. "The Archdiocese admits that it failed to adequately respond and prevent the sexual abuse" of the three victims, the archdiocese said in papers filed in Ramsey County Court. "The Archdiocese failed to keep the safety and wellbeing of these three children ahead of protecting the interests of Curtis Wehmeyer and the Archdiocese. The actions and omissions of the Archdiocese failed to prevent the abuse that resulted in the need for protection and services for these three children." In a letter to Catholics in the archdiocese Hebda wrote: "We are agreeing to implement the plan under a set deadline and to be held accountable for that commitment." [14] He called the settlement "the most public indicator that this archdiocese has earnestly embarked on a journey of self-reflection, evaluation and action".[15] In his time as administrator, less than a year, he handled a number of cases of priests charged with sexual abuse of minors, both removing and reinstating them.[16][17][18][19]


On March 24, 2016, he was named Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, at which point his appointment as Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark ended. He was installed in the Cathedral of Saint Paul on May 13, 2016.[20]

See also


  1. ^ "Rinunce e nomine". Bolletino. Sala Stampa della Santa Sede. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "Missionaries of Charity confessor appointed to shepherd Michigan diocese". Catholic News Agency. October 7, 2009. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ "Msgr. Bernard A. Hebda Appointed Bishop of Gaylord, Michigan - Pontifical North American College". Pontifical North American College. November 8, 2009. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Winters, Michael Sean (November 12, 2013). "Committee Chairmen Elections". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ Perlman, William (November 5, 2013). "Parishioners welcome Archbishop Bernard Hebda at a special Mass in Newark". Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ McElwee, Joshua J. (September 23, 2013). "Newark archbishop: coadjutor appointed at his request". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ Winters, Michael Sean (July 13, 2015). "Take nothing for the journey". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ Hebda, Bernard (March 17, 2014). "Opinion: Focus on archbishop's commitment to serve". Bergen Record. Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 15.06.2015" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. June 15, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ Smith, Mitch; Goodstein, Laurie (June 15, 2015). "Catholic Archbishop and Aide Resign in Minnesota Over Sexual Abuse Scandal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ Elliott, Elizabeth A. (September 21, 2015). "Vatican-appointed interim administrator met with Minnesota Catholic reform group". Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ Elliott, Elizabeth A. (October 1, 2015). "St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese asks for input about new archbishop". Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ Elliott, Elizabeth A. (November 2, 2015). "Listening Sessions continue in Minneapolis-St. Paul". Retrieved 2016.
  14. ^ Roewe, Brian (December 18, 2015). "Settlement reached in St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese civil case". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ Nelson, Todd; Davey, Monica (December 18, 2015). "Archdiocese of St. Paul Settles Civil Complaint on Child Sexual Abuse". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ "Minn. priest put on leave after abuse allegation". CRUX. Associated Press. August 28, 2015. Archived from the original on May 16, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  17. ^ "St. Paul-Minneapolis removes 1 priest, reinstates another". CRUX. Associated Press. September 3, 2015. Archived from the original on January 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  18. ^ "Minn. archdiocese reinstates priest who faced abuse allegation". CRUX. Associated Press. March 17, 2016. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 13, 2018. Retrieved 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Hopfensperger, Jean (May 13, 2016). "Thousands turn out to welcome Archbishop Hebda". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Retrieved 2016.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Patrick R. Cooney
Bishop of Gaylord
Succeeded by
Steven J. Raica
Preceded by
Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John Clayton Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

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