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Saturday 12 June |
Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Archbishop Hebda: “The Lord has given you a shepherd who has never eaten lutefisk”

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 05/18/16

Take a gander at the conclusion of Archbishop Bernard Hebda’s homily at his Installation Mass in St. Paul on May 13:

It’s been a blessing for me that I so consistently find our laity, our consecrated brothers and sisters and our clergy to be proclaimers of hope who are willing to embrace sacrifice so that with our archdiocesan patron, St. Paul, we might “delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties” knowing that it is when we are weak that we are strong (2 Cor 12:10) and believe that we can “do all things through him who gives us strength” (Phil 4:13). In the listening sessions last fall, the faithful who gathered consistently shared their hope for a Church that is more transparent, more accountable, more collaborative, more reconciling, more engaged in the work of evangelization. I’m all in — but like you, I recognize that we’re going to have success only to the extent that we can stay focused on Jesus, and only Jesus, and embrace his call to humility and simplicity and finding him as we serve those most in need. We’re blessed to have this glorious Cathedral on Summit and Selby, but we can’t ever lose the passion and focus of those pilgrims to the northland who first brought the faith to Pig’s Eye. If they, by God’s grace, could build, I’m confident that we, by that same grace, can rebuild. As you’ve probably realized already in these past 11 months, the Lord has once again set the stage for the victory to be clearly his. He’s given you a shepherd with more than his share of faults and failings, a shepherd who still has so much to learn about this local Church and region and its history and its culture, a shepherd who has never eaten lutefisk, a shepherd whose feet don’t even reach the ground when he sits on the cathedra. But with your help, your prayers, and especially with God’s grace, I’m confident that we can together begin the process of healing, of evangelizing, of reconciling — of rebuilding, brick by brick, stone by stone. The commemorative card that you have received today bears a portion of a prayer composed by Blessed John Henry Newman, a prayer that I learned from the sisters of our soon-to-be-saint, Mother Teresa of Kolkata. I hope that you will take it home and allow it to touch your heart as it has touched mine. May it be our fervent prayer this day and always: “Dear Jesus, help me to spread thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may be only a radiance of thine. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but ONLY JESUS.”

Read it all. 

I don’t think anyone will disagree that St. Paul is truly blessed. Ad multos annos!

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