Monday, September 28, 2015

Good News! – Archbishop Hebda to Hold Listening Sessions on Leadership Needs

Interim-Archbishop Bernard Hebda and his staff have announced a Fall listening session series aimed at gathering lay feedback in helping shape the archdiocese's future.

Reporting on this development for The Catholic Spirit, Maria Wiering writes:

Archbishop Bernard Hebda is asking for Catholics' input on the strengths and challenges of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the qualities hoped for in its next archbishop, through a series of listening sessions to be held in October and November.

The sessions are "taking a page from Pope Francis' playbook," he said.

"It's an opportunity for our local Church to be able to offer some input to Pope Francis and those with whom he'll be collaborating in making a decision about the next archbishop," he said. "I think it's important that we see how consultative Pope Francis has been from the beginning of his pontificate. Consider, for example, his use of a committee of cardinals to advise him and the emphasis that he has placed on the Synod process. We're hoping that we might be able to assist him - in all humility - along those lines by giving him some information from those who know the archdiocese best."

Archbishop Hebda, the archdiocese's apostolic administrator since the resignation of Archbishop John Nienstedt in June, acknowledged that the effort to obtain widespread feedback ahead of a new archbishop may be somewhat unusual, but suggested it could be something other dioceses adopt if it proves helpful.

The sessions will be hosted at parishes and Catholic institutions in several areas of the archdiocese in hopes that every Catholic who wishes to participate can. The locations were chosen for geographic diversity, their ability to accommodate large groups and as "parishes where different kinds of people would feel comfortable," Archbishop Hebda said.

"Some of the sessions will be in non-parish settings, so even those who feel some distance from the Church might feel comfortable in sharing their views with us," he said.

Feedback gathered during these sessions will be shared with those responsible for advising Pope Francis as he makes this important choice and with the new Archbishop whenever he is named. Summaries will be published in The Catholic Spirit.

For many of us, this is the opportunity we've long been waiting and working for: the chance to step up and let our voices be heard about the type of leadership we want to see in our local church!

Please do all you can to attend one of the listening sessions and encourage family and friends to do likewise.

Following is the schedule of listening sessions.

Schedule of Listening Sessions

Monday, October 5
1:00–3:00 p.m., Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine, St. Catherine University, St. Paul
7:00–9 p.m., St. Stephen, Anoka

Tuesday, October 6:
1:00–3:00 p.m., Carondelet Center, St. Paul (NOTE: For women and men in consecrated life)
7:00–9:00 p.m., Pax Christi, Eden Prairie

Monday, November 2
7:00–9:00 p.m., Saint Peter, Forest Lake

Tuesday, November 3
7:00–9:00 p.m., Divine Mercy, Faribault

Wednesday, November 4
7:00–9:00 p.m., Woulfe Alumni Hall, Anderson Student Center, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul

Additional listening sessions are being scheduled for Latino Ministry parishes (in Spanish) and priests.

See also the previous PCV posts:
CCCR Representatives Meet with Archbishop Hebda
Our Next Archbishop: What Would You Ask a Candidate If You Knew Your Voice Would Be Heard?
We Need a New Way of Choosing Bishops
Local Catholics Select Three Priests for Bishop/Archbishop
CCCR Responds to the Resignation of Archbishop Nienstedt
Tom Flannery in Minneapolis
"Our Voices Are Growing"
Creating a Liberating Church
Let Our Voices Be Heard
Papal Appointment of Bishops is Not Traditional

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

CCCR Representatives Meet with Archbishop Hebda

Above: St. Paul-Minneapolis Interim Archbishop Bernard Hebda (center) with CCCR board members (from left) Art Stoeberl, Michael Bayly and Paula Ruddy – September 3, 2015.

On Thursday afternoon, September 3, three board members of the Twin Cities-based Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR), Art Stoeberl, Michael Bayly and Paula Ruddy, met with Interim-Archbishop Bernard Hebda. By all accounts, it was a very cordial and productive meeting.

Following is part of Elizabeth A. Elliott's National Catholic Reporter coverage of CCCR's meeting with Archbishop Hebda.

As the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese prepares for a new leader, the Vatican-appointed interim administrator has met with a Catholic reform group that the former archbishop had warned his flock against joining.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda, appointed apostolic administrator following the resignation of Archbishop John C. Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee A. Piché in June, met September 3 with members of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) of Minnesota.

"I was pleased to meet with three members of the CCCR and 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," Hebda said in a statement to NCR. "I was also happy to share with them some of the preliminary plans for that consultation, and appreciated their input and offer of collaboration."

Hebda met with Paula Ruddy, a member of the CCCR board, Michael Bayly and Art Stoeberl.

Ruddy told NCR, "We are interested in having a lay voice, a broad and open consultation for who the next archbishop will be. We are asking that [Hebda] would expand the process of choosing the archbishop to include all people in the archdiocese at an open meeting."

The coalition co-chair, Bob Beutel, wasn't at the meeting with Hebda, but he said he was pleased to hear that the archbishop was cordial and had heard of their organization. "It was nice to get that recognition."

Beutel said the organization was waiting to hear about the listening schedule the diocese has in the works which will be eight sessions at four different locations. [NOTE: Click here for an update on the times and venues of these sessions.] He said the organization would "like to see people make known what kind of person the new bishop should be, the kind of vetting that should be done and suggestions of people who might be a good bishop might be."

To read Elizabeth A. Elliott's NCR article in its entirety, click here.