A letter from Archbishop Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis:
My dear friends in Christ,
I recently had the opportunity to join our seminarians and priests of The Saint Paul Seminary for their Oktoberfest celebration. The evening featured a few acoustic guitars, some great senses of humor and a bonfire on the back patio of the seminary.
An enjoyable, relaxing time, to be sure. And yet I left campus that night so excited and hopeful for the future of our Church.
I know you will experience this same sense of joy and hope when you visit with our seminarians. (If you haven’t had the opportunity to do so, I encourage you to attend daily Mass at St. Mary’s Chapel or come to an upcoming seminary event.)
We’re blessed in this Archdiocese to have a seminary that is dedicated to forming happy, holy, healthy priests. I consistently hear from Twin Cities Catholics about the quality of the young men who are being ordained out of our seminary and now serving in our parishes. In the midst of a very complex society and in spite of the challenges of these days, these young priests are excelling. Praise God!
We’re also blessed to be able to share this great gift of the seminary with the Upper Midwest and, really, the entire nation. There’s a confidence articulated to me by my brother bishops who are seeing what I am seeing, that indeed, the seminary is forming men who love Christ and His Church.
And, as you well know, this confidence goes beyond the core initiative of priestly formation. Seminary programs like our new propaedeutic stage for men entering major seminary and institutes like our Institute for Diaconate Formation and Institute for Ongoing Clergy Formation (IOCF) have begun to draw national attention both for their content and, more importantly, their fruit: a renewed faith.
It’s also necessary that our priests, deacons and laity collaborate in bringing about this renewal; it’s a key theme in the Church’s current synodal efforts, and I see it on display every time I attend an IOCF event, for example, and hear and see some of our local, Catholic business leaders mentoring our priests.
I’m mindful that our seminary is only able to maintain its excellence due to your generosity. In closing, I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to you for your prayers and support of The Saint Paul Seminary – especially your support of the recently-completed Joyful Catholic Leaders campaign.
I can’t imagine any need that’s more important in our Church today. Thank you, and may God bless you.
With gratitude and the promise of my best wishes and prayers,
Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda
Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis