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Issue: #26 March 2016

Happy Easter! . . . And welcome to the March 2016 issue of CCCR's e-newsletter.

Of course, the really BIG news for our local church is the announcement last Thursday that interim-Archbishop Bernard Hebda will be the next Archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

We share below both a statement of welcome by the leadership of CCCR and the Council of the Baptized and Archbishop-Designate Hebda's own official statement released by the chancery.

In addition, we have some important information to share about the Council of the Baptized's April 12 forum.

So, without further ado . . . 
News from CCCR and the Council of the Baptized 

Congratulations, Archbishop Hebda!

The following statement has been released by the leadership of CCCR and  the Council of the Baptized.

Dear Archbishop Hebda,

We are pleased to congratulate you on your ap pointment to serve as ou r archbishop.

We have been impressed by the warmth, attentiveness, respect, and humor you have shown us at your eight listening sessions and in personal encounters. Our Holy Father Francis has made a good decision.

Please be assured of our commitment to working with you in healing and restoring our archdiocese. We look forward to working with you, bringing a local lay voice that is committed to ensuring that our local church radiates Jesus' core teaching of radical equality, unabashed inclusivity, and transforming love.

Through the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform we have sponsored synods of the laity and other actions to encourage the local lay community to take on their responsibility to be actively involved in the leadership of the local Church. 

Through publications from the Council of the Baptized, we have brought forth a local lay voice on a number of issues of concern to us, and would like to have the opportunity to discuss them with you and your team as you start planning for the future.

Welcome to Saint Paul-Minneapolis, thank you for taking on a challenging assignment, and be assured of our prayers for your success.

Signed by the leadership of CCCR and CoB.


Council of the Baptized Open Forum conti nues . . .

What ideas do you have for the renewal of o u r local church?

You are invited to attend and participate in the  Council  of the Baptized Open Forum on April 12 to h ear what's in the works and to add your ideas. 

Now that we know Archbishop Bernard Hebda is our new archbishop, we have added incentive to get active and make recommendations for renewal in the archdiocese.

The Pastoral Recommendations Project is endorsed by CCCR and Council of the Baptized and initiated by Ken Pierre, retir ed priest of the archdiocese and psychologist. The Project aims to have recommendations ready for delivery by June 1.

Recommendations will be drafted under 6 headings:
parish life
personal growth
ministerial formation.

Leaders of each section will briefly present and ask for input from those in attendance.

When: Tuesday, April 12, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Where: Gloria Dei Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul, 55116.

Don't forget: If you're on Facebook, join, follow and contribute to the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform/Council of the Baptized
 page by visiting this page and clicking on "Like."

A n important way to keep our local church reform movement growing is to increase the number of people in our Lay Network. Currently, there are over 1500 Lay Network members, from all parishes and all deaneries, but that's no where near the number of folks who love their church and want it to thrive in this archdiocese. Please encourage your friends and family to register with the Lay Network by  clicking  here.


Finally, the new website of CCCR and the Council of the Baptized was officially launched on March 4! Be sure to visit to check it out.

Bernard Hebda Responds to Being Named Archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis

Note:  Th e follow in g letter from Archbishop-Designate Hebda 
w as relea sed March 24, 2016 by the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Min n eapolis.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

When I arrived in Minnesota for the first time last June, I was but a visitor - assigned as Apostolic Administrator to help with the operations of the Archdiocese until Pope Francis named a new Archbishop. In the nine months since then, I have been blessed to witness your deep faith and your commitment to Christ's Church, His people, and the Eucharist. I consider many of you friends.

That is why it is with joy that I tell you of Pope Francis' decision to appoint me as the next Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The Pope and the Holy Spirit evidently had different plans for me than I had anticipated, and I am humbled and honored to be named your shepherd.

I know from my nine months in the Archdiocese that there is much work yet to be done to overcome the significant challenges we continue to face, but I am firm in my conviction that the Lord is truly present here, even in our struggles. The exceptional staff and leadership team at the Archdiocese, along with our strong priests, committed religious, and dynamic lay leaders are all reasons for great hope. You all seem to work tirelessly to serve Christ and His people no matter where they are found and for that I am most grateful.

It has already been an honor serving you and I very much look forward to continuing to serve you and this vibrant community for as long as the Lord sees fit.

Now more than ever, I will be counting on your prayers and support. Be assured of my prayers for you, your families, and this local Church.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda
Apostolic Administrator and Archbishop-Designate
Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Recommended Reading

No Longer Administrator, How Might Bernard Hebda Change as Twin Cities Archbishop? - Brian Roewe ( National Catholic Reporter, March 24, 2016).

What is Pope Francis' Intent for Divorced and LGBT Catholics? We May Be About to Find Out - Michelle Boorstein ( The Washington Post via The Progressive Catholic Voice, March 19, 2016).

Pope Francis Washes Refugees' Feet on Holy Thursday - Antonia Blumberg (HuffPost Religion, March 24, 2016).

Why Catholics Should Be Grate for Spotlight and the Media's Exposing Abuses Within the Church - Christopher White ( The Washington Post, February 29, 2016).

Vatican Newspaper Essays Say Women Should Preach at Mass -  David Gibson (Religion News Service, March 2, 2016).

Think, pray, speak and take action.