Happy Easter! Our Easter joy in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus is perhaps a bit more pronounced this Sunday! This past Holy Thursday we received joyful news for our Archdiocese: Pope Francis announced a new Archbishop has been appointed for our Archdiocese: Archbishop Bernard Hebda! We have some knowledge of him already because he has been serving as our Apostolic Administrator for the past several months. Here is a letter from Archbishop Hebda and the official announcement from the Archdiocese:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
When I arrived inMinnesota 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. That is why it is with joy that I tell you of Pope Francis’ decision to appoint me as the next Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The Pope and the Holy Spirit evidently had different plans for me than I had anticipated, and I am humbled and honored to be named your shepherd.
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. The exceptional staff and leadership team at the Archdiocese, along with our strong priests, committed religious, and dynamic lay leaders are all reasons for great hope. You all seem to work tirelessly to serve Christ and His people no matter where they are found and for that I am most grateful.
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. Now more than ever, I will be counting on your prayers and support. Be assured of my prayers for you, your families, and this local Church.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda
Apostolic Administrator and Archbishop-Designate
Archdiocese of Saint Paul andMinneapolis
Thursday, March 24, 2016:
“Today at 6:00 a.m. local time, Pope
Francis formally announced Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda’s
appointment as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and
Minneapolis. Archbishop Hebda has been serving as Apostolic
Administrator of the Archdiocese since June 15, 2015. During
that time, he has also been serving the Archdiocese of Newark,
New Jersey, as Coadjutor Archbishop, and was scheduled
to replace Archbishop John J. Myers when he is expected to retire
Upon being told of his appointment, Archbishop Hebda said he
was “humbled by this expression of Pope Francis’s confidence
and honored to serve this Archdiocese with its rich history and its
long tradition of extraordinary priests, zealous Religious and
empowered laity, all working to put their faith into action.”
In addition to serving the Archdioceses of Newark and Saint Paul
and Minneapolis, Archbishop Hebda was Bishop of the Diocese of
Gaylord, Michigan and has served at the Vatican and in parishes
in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Archbishop Hebda’s Installation Mass is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Friday,
May 13, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, at the Cathedral of Saint Paul.”
For our Easter meditation, I invite us all to ponder the inspiring
Easter sermon from St. Melito of Sardis (b.? – d. 180):
“There was much proclaimed by the prophets about the mystery of
the Passover: that mystery is Christ, and to Him be glory forever
and ever. Amen.
For the sake of suffering humanity He came
down from Heaven to earth, clothed Himself in that humanity in
the Virgin’s womb, and was born a man. Having then a body capable
of suffering, He took the pain of fallen man upon Himself; He
triumphed over the diseases of soul and body that were its cause,
and by His Spirit, which was incapable of dying, He dealt man’s
destroyer, death, a fatal blow.
He was led forth like a lamb; He was slaughtered like a sheep. He
ransomed us from our servitude to the world, as He had ransomed
Israel from the hand of Egypt; He freed us from our slavery to the
devil, as He had freed Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. He sealed
our souls with His own Spirit, and the members of our body with
His own blood.
He is the One who covered death with shame and cast the devil into
mourning, as Moses cast Pharaoh into mourning. He is the One
who smote sin and robbed iniquity of offspring, as Moses robbed
the Egyptians of their offspring. He is the One who brought us out
of slavery into freedom, out of darkness into light, out of death into
life, out of tyranny into an eternal kingdom; who made us a new
priesthood, a people chosen to be His own forever. He is the Passover
that is our salvation.
It is He who endured every kind of suffering in all those who foreshadowed
Him. In Abel He was slain, in Isaac bound, in Jacob exiled,
in Joseph sold, in Moses exposed to die. He was sacrificed in
the Passover lamb, persecuted in David, dishonored in the prophets.
It is He who was made man of the Virgin, He who was hung on the
tree; it is He who was buried in the earth, raised from the dead, and
taken up to the heights of Heaven. He is the mute lamb, the slain
lamb, the lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe. He was seized from the
flock, dragged off to be slaughtered, sacrificed in the evening, and
buried at night. On the tree no bone of His was broken; in the earth
His body knew no decay. He is the One who rose from the dead,
and who raised man from the depths of the tomb.”
Through the intercession of Mary, the Cause of our Joy, St. Joseph,
St. Michael and St. Paul, may our Risen Lord Jesus grant us the
graces of joy and peace during this special day of Easter!