The interim administrator of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese is inviting Catholics to a series of listening sessions and asking for input as the archdiocese waits for a new archbishop.
The listening sessions, called by Archbishop Bernard Hebda, provide the opportunity for the local church to say what qualities they want in the new archbishop. The sessions will be held in parishes and other places in several areas; geographical diversity is planned to allow as many to participate as they wish.
The first session was held Sept. 17 with the chancery staff members. Sessions will run Oct. 5 and 6, Nov. 2, 3 and 4. The entire schedule is listed below. The Oct. 6 afternoon session at St. Catherine University is designated for men and women in consecrated life only. The evening session is open to all.
Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) of Minnesota is encouraging people to go to the listening sessions and speak up, according to Paula Ruddy, a CCCR board member. “We see this as a tremendous step forward in our archdiocese.”
The reform coalition has pursued the idea of lay collaboration in the process of selecting a new archbishop for the Minneapolis and St. Paul archdiocese. Coalition members met with Archbishop Hebda Sept. 3 to express their hope for open consultation and learned then of the listening sessions.
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Hebda is coadjutor archbishop of Newark, N.J., and is acting as administrator of the Twin Cities archdiocese until a permanent replacement is named. Archbishop John C. Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee A. Piche resigned in June as the archdiocese became more deeply embroiled in a scandal around failing to protect children from sexual abuse and as Nienstedt himself faced allegations of sexual improprieties with adult men.
Listening sessions planned:
Monday, November 2:
7 – 9 p.m., Saint Peter, Forest Lake
Tuesday, November 3:
7 – 9 p.m., Divine Mercy Catholic Church, Faribault
Wednesday, November 4:
7 – 9 p.m., Woulfe Alumni Hall, Anderson Student Center, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul
[Elizabeth A. Elliott, is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Contact her at email@example.com.]