Most Rev. Bernard Hebda will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the Fifty-Fourth Annual Red Mass sponsored by The Diocese of Greensburg, The Saint Thomas More Society, and Saint Vincent Archabbey, College and Seminary at noon Friday, September 29, in the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica.
Archbishop Hebda was named Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis by Pope Francis on March 24, 2016. He was installed on May 13, 2016, in the Cathedral of Saint Paul. As Archbishop, he serves as Chairman of the Board of Saint Paul’s Outreach, a national movement based in the Archdiocese that strives to build communities that witness to the Gospel on college campuses.
He had been serving the archdiocese as apostolic administrator since June 15, 2015, while at the same time serving as coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, where he was appointed on September 24, 2013. While serving in Newark, Archbishop Hebda lived in a dormitory at Seton Hall University and renewed his interest in campus ministry.
Prior to his appointment in Newark, he served as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord in Michigan since 2009.
Archbishop Hebda is originally from Pittsburgh, where he graduated from South Hills Catholic High School in 1977. He continued his education at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980 followed by a juris doctor degree from the Columbia University School of Law in 1983. He was admitted to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1983 and worked in Pittsburgh as an associate in the law firm of Reed, Smith, Shaw and McClay.
He enrolled in Saint Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh in 1984 and pursued the required studies in philosophy at Duquesne University before being sent to the North American College in Rome in 1985 where he completed his theological studies and earned his S.T.B. from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1988.
He was ordained a deacon on April 6, 1989, at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood on July 1, 1989, in Saint Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh. After his ordination, he served briefly as parochial vicar at Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Elwood City, before returning to Rome to complete his licentiate in canon law, which he received in 1990 from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Upon returning to Pittsburgh, Father Hebda first served as his bishop’s secretary and master of ceremonies, and as a judge in the Diocesan tribunal. He then served in team ministry at Prince of Peace on Pittsburgh’s South Side before being named director of campus ministry at the Slippery Rock University Newman Center.
In 1996, he was appointed to work at the Vatican in the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, which was responsible for the interpretation of the Church’s laws, especially the Code of Canon Law. In 2003, Saint John Paul II named him Undersecretary of the Council.
While in Rome, he also served as an adjunct spiritual director at the North American College and as a confessor for the postulants of the Missionaries of Charity (founded by Saint Teresa of Kolkata) and for the Sisters of that community working at a home for unwed mothers.