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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Many of you have reminded me that our Church needs to face today’s challenges with more direct action. Changes must be made that will prevent regression to old ways. I am taking additional steps in this Archdiocese to change the culture that fostered the clergy abuse crisis.
A new position has been created in the Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment to ensure that the voice of survivors of clergy sexual abuse will be regularly heard within Archdiocesan leadership. To strengthen that voice, I want to say again today that any survivor who at any time entered into a settlement agreement containing a confidentiality provision is released from that provision. I also reiterate my pledge to meet with any survivors who would like to do so. I am leaving open all Friday afternoons in February, March and April for that purpose. Meetings at other times and places will still be available as well. Planning for spiritual outreach in 2019 is also underway. It will include opportunities, both at the parish and Archdiocesan levels, for reparation, spiritual renewal, and prayers for healing.
I also want to share a few thoughts regarding bishop accountability. This was a major topic at the recent meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As mentioned before, I strongly favor the creation of a lay-led mechanism for investigating and assessing any allegations made against me or any other bishop. It is clear to me that expanding meaningful lay involvement is essential for us to accomplish cultural change and put in place a credible and lasting process. In order to fully address bishop accountability, the Church needs a national or regional board empowered to act, much as our well-respected Ministerial Review Board has been empowered to address allegations involving our priests and deacons. The Church cannot fulfill its mission without public trust.
I remain troubled by the failure to bring closure to the 2014 investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct with adult males leveled against my predecessor, Archbishop John Nienstedt. You will recall that Archbishop Nienstedt had delegated the investigation to his senior auxiliary bishop, who in turn sought the assistance of two separate law firms. In 2015, the investigative materials were submitted to the then-Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. Also in 2015, the investigation’s underlying allegations were provided by the Archdiocese to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. As far as I know, any effort by the Vatican to further address the allegations was suspended in June 2015 when Archbishop Nienstedt resigned his office. Thus, the matter remains unresolved for the accusers, for Archbishop Nienstedt and for the public. I share the frustration that is felt by them, and believe this situation highlights the need for a better-defined process and independent mechanism to resolve allegations made against bishops.
I am also aware that resolution of the 2014 investigation would, in itself, no longer fully address the question of Archbishop Nienstedt’s status. After the Archbishop had already resigned and left Minnesota, a separate allegation emerged. In 2016, Ramsey County shared with us and made public an allegation it received that in 2005, then-Bishop of New Ulm Nienstedt, while at a World Youth Day event in Germany, had invited two unaccompanied minors to his hotel room to get out of the rain and wet clothing. It is alleged that he then proceeded to undress in front of them and invited them to do the same. Archbishop Nienstedt denies this ever happened. My opinion is this allegation needs to be fully addressed before a definitive resolution of Archbishop Nienstedt’s suitability for ministry can be made. For that reason, I transmitted Ramsey County’s documentation concerning this allegation to the Nuncio in 2016.
I have been asked repeatedly whether there are any restrictions on Archbishop Nienstedt’s ministry. My answer has always been that although I do not know of any, I am the wrong person to ask: Bishops report to the Holy Father, not to each other. I have no general juridical authority over Archbishop Nienstedt or any other bishop outside the Archdiocese.
I can, however, exercise some control over the types of public ministry permitted in this Archdiocese. With all of this in mind, and in the hope of advancing a resolution to this matter, I am taking the following steps:
- The Archdiocesan Ministerial Review Board has recently recommended that I publicly clarify that Archbishop Nienstedt, like any priest facing similar allegations, would not be free to exercise public ministry in this Archdiocese until all open allegations are resolved. I concur. As is true in similar cases involving our priests and deacons, this is not intended to convey an indication or presumption of guilt. While this may cause some pain, my hope is that this decision prompts further action by those with authority over Archbishop Nienstedt to resolve this question.
- Further, I will continue in the near term to advocate for the creation of an independent review board. In this way, my hope is that resolution of the allegations and any additional investigation can be handled in a way that is fair to all and worthy of public trust.
- Finally, I am publicly committing to transmit the entire 2014 Archdiocesan investigation to whatever national or regional review board is created.
I share the disappointment of many that more progress has not been made at the national and international levels to address bishop accountability. It is my prayer and hope that the February meeting Pope Francis is convening with bishops from around the world produces tangible results. We need a review board at the national or regional level - similar to our local Ministerial Review Board - with the authority and credibility to address allegations of misconduct against bishops and make fitness-for-ministry recommendations to the Holy Father.
As we continue our preparations this Advent for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ, I ask you to join me in praying for peace and healing for the men and women who have been abused, along with their families, friends, and communities. These are our brothers and sisters who deserve our prayers, love, and support more than ever.
With every good wish, I remain,
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Download the letter in PDF format.
The Basilica of Saint Mary plans to welcome over 10,000 visitors during Christmas Eve, December 24 and Christmas Day, December 25. The historic Church will be beautifully decorated by volunteers with 30 foot evergreen trees and poinsettias.
Plan to celebrate this joyous time of year at The Basilica of Saint Mary. The music, liturgy, and community create a special Christmas experience for all who pass through our doors.
Monday, December 24
3:00pm Vigil Eucharist organ, cantor, Cathedral Choristers, Children’s Choir and Cherubs, oboe*
5:30pm Vigil Eucharist Mundus & Juventus
Celebrant: Archbishop Bernard Hebda
8:00pm Vigil Eucharist piano, cantor, flute, cello
ASL Interpreted beginning with Choral Music at 11:00PM
10:30pm Prelude Music for Christmas harp
11:00pm Meditation Music Cathedral Choir, organ, harp, flute
11:30pm Vigil of Lights organ, Cathedral Choir
Midnight Solemn Eucharist organ, Cathedral Choir, brass, harp
Tuesday, December 25
7:30am Eucharist at Dawn organ, cantor, violin
9:30am Solemn Eucharist organ, choir, brass, strings,
Noon Solemn Eucharist organ, choir, brass, strings
4:30pm Festive Eucharist music from around the world
*The Archbishop has given permission to celebrate the Vigil Masses starting at 3:00pm.
Archbishop Hebda invites young adults (ages 18-39) of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to join him for listening sessions regarding the abuse crises in the Church.
Archbishop Hebda will respond to the open letter young adults of the archdiocese sent him this fall, and listen to their ideas for creating and maintaining safe environments, healing the Church, and moving forward together.
- Monday, December 10, 7 – 9 p.m. Archdiocesan Catholic Center (Saint Joseph Hall), Saint Paul.
- Wednesday, December 19, 7 – 9 p.m. Basilica of Saint Mary (Teresa of Calcutta Hall), Minneapolis.
- On Sunday, December 9 we will hold our annual Global Fair Trade Market from 8:30am to 3:00pm. Great gifts will be available from local vendors, just in time for Christmas giving.
- Taizé prayer, with the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, will be celebrated in the lower level of The Basilica on Tuesday, December 11 at 5:30pm.
- On Sunday, December 16 our Cathedral Choristers, Children’s Choir, Cherubs, and Juventus as well as the children of the Learning Program will present Room for Christmas by Mark Burrows. The musical combines original songs and familiar carols from around the world to tell the story of the Incarnation. The musical will be presented in the lower level of The Basilica after the 9:30 and 11:30am Masses.
- The Basilica will also be hosting Messiah on Thursday, December 20 at 7:30pm and Friday, December 21 at 8:00pm. For more information about these performances visit thespco.org. To reserve your ticket for the December 21 performance contact Holly Dockendorf.
- Finally, we hope you will plan on joining us for one of our Masses on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Our Mass schedule is available on our website.
- On the weekend of June 17 and 18, $9,679 was contributed to help defray the cost of air conditioning The Basilica during the hot summer months.
- On the weekend of July 28 and 29, $10,835 was contributed to help fund our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry.
- On the weekend of September 15 and 16, $9,514 was contributed to help fund our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry.
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
SECOND WORLD DAY OF THE POOR
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
18 November 2018
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
On this World Day, we are asked to fulfil the words of the Psalm: “The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied” (Ps 22:26). We know that in the Temple of Jerusalem, after the rites of sacrifice, a banquet was held. It was this experience that, in many dioceses last year, enriched the celebration of the first World Day of the Poor. Many people encountered the warmth of a home, the joy of a festive meal and the solidarity of those who wished to sit together at table in simplicity and fraternity. I would like this year’s, and all future World Days, to be celebrated in a spirit of joy at the rediscovery of our capacity for togetherness. Praying together as a community and sharing a meal on Sunday is an experience that brings us back to the earliest Christian community, described by the evangelist Luke in all its primitive simplicity: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers… And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:42.44-45).
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
Wednesday, November 14, 6:00pm-9:00pm
We will offer our highest prayer for people who have been harmed by clergy abuse.
This Mass for Justice, Healing and Peace will be followed by a program on Restorative Justice, and an introduction to Healing Circles.
Healing Circles 7:00pm
Evening for Justice, Healing and Peace
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
One Lourdes Place, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Vouchers for two hours of free parking in the Riverplace parking ramp on 2nd Street SE by the church will be available.
The Together in Hope Project has orchestrated three concerts in Rome and an entourage of ecumenical visitors, including 64 choir members and 120 goodwill ambassadors.
Standing in front of the conductor’s podium will be Teri Larson, music director of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, and Mark Stover, who recently was the conductor of the St. Olaf Chapel Choir in Northfield.
Our new Basilica of Saint Mary app is now available to download for iPhone and Android phones.
Stay connected with notifications, community events, prayers, daily readings, Mass reminders, and much more.
We expect the features and capabilities of our new app to foster a stronger sense of community and faith in the daily lives of all parishioners. The Basilica will be able to communicate quick and easy with all parishioners via messages and notifications to keep you in the loop with what is going on in our parish.
The Basilica of Saint Mary will show the film Summer in the Forest, Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 3:00pm. This highly acclaimed, documentary tells the story of L’Arche, an international federation dedicated to the creation and growth of homes, programs, and support networks with people who have intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1964, today it operates in 147 communities in 35 countries, on 5 continents.
This screening is presented by the Disability Awareness Ministry as part of the Basilica’s Disability Awareness month in October. The Disability Awareness Ministry's mission is to remove barriers that prevent the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities and their families in parish life and in the community at large. The Basilica continually strives to make the church and campus facilities accessible to all parishioners and visitors.
Summer in the Forest
Basilica of Saint Mary
October 27, 2018 at 3:00pm
Doors open at 2:30pm
Free of charge
2017 (NR) 108 min.
French with English subtitles