The Archbishop relies on consultative bodies – consisting of both clergy and lay Catholics – to assist him with the governance of the Archdiocese. These women and men generously give of their time and share their expertise in many areas.
Archdiocesan Board of Directors
The Archdiocesan board of directors is selected by the five members of the Archdiocesan Corporation(Archbishop, Vicar General, Chancellor for Civil Affairs, and two lay members). The board of directors has the authority and responsibility for transacting all of the business of the civil corporation, which includes managing all of the temporal affairs of the Archdiocese as a Minnesota diocesan corporation. The board of directors also provides advice and consultation to the Archbishop and archdiocesan leadership on matters affecting the local Church.
Archdiocesan Finance Council
The Archdiocesan Finance Council is a diocesan body mandated by canon law that is charged with preparing the annual diocesan budget and annually reviewing diocesan expenses and revenues. The finance council must be consulted for financial transactions of a given dollar level undertaken by the diocese or parishes and must give its consent to transactions at another dollar threshold. The threshold amounts are set by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and are subject to approval by the Holy See.
College of Consultors
The College of Consultors is a diocesan body of priests required by canon law. It serves to advise the Archbishop on major decisions and must give its consent on major financial transactions. The College of Consultors has a particular role in the governance of the diocese during a vacant see, or when there is no archbishop appointed.
Comprehensive Assignment Board
The Assignment Board serves the Archbishop in making recommendations for various clergy roles which includes pastors, priests, deacons, temporary pastors, chaplains in High Schools, prisons, organizations, mentors for newly ordained and various other leadership roles.
To facilitate clergy personnel recommendations, the needs of the parish or institution is of outmost importance. This process involves as much consultation as possible with a variety of individuals depending on the various needs of the parish or institution.
Recommendations for assignments are provided to the Archbishop for his discernment and decision. Only the Archbishop can assign clergy or remove clergy from assignments.
Deaneries / Deans
Parishes in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis are grouped into deaneries, generally determined by region. There are 14 geographic deaneries in the archdiocese. Priests of the deaneries are to meet regularly with one another, to discuss overall needs or trends within the deanery as well as specific pastoral or parish concerns that may require attention from archdiocesan leadership. Within each deanery, one priest is elected by the deanery to serve as the dean and represents the interests and concerns of all parishes within his deanery at the Presbyteral Council.
The deans representing each of the deaneries in the archdiocese, as well as some priests appointed by the Archbishop, comprise the Presbyteral Council, which is a required body of priests in canon law. The Presbyteral Council is described in canon law as “a group of priests which, representing the presbyterium, is to be like a senate of the bishop and which assists the bishop in the governance of the diocese according to the norm of law to promote as much as possible the pastoral good of the portion of the people of God entrusted to him” (c. 495 §1).
The Presbyteral Council meets with the Archbishop monthly from September through May to aid the Archbishop in the governance of the archdiocese, as well as to address issues of concern among parishes.
Vicars / Vicariates
The word “vicar” comes from the Latin “vicarius,” meaning “substitute” or “deputy.” Within a diocese, the bishop may appoint one or more vicars to assist in a specific part of the diocese, over certain groups in the diocese, or over certain areas of church affairs. The vicar general is the highest of diocesan vicars in responsibility, as he assists the Archbishop in the governance of the entire diocese.
In the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, a regional vicariate structure has been established as a way for all parishes in the Archdiocese to be organized in three important ways: governance, programming and financial administration. The Archdiocese contains three vicariates: Region 1 (Northeast), Region 2 (South) and Region 3 (Northwest). One regional vicar is delegated responsibilities based on his assigned vicariate. Additional vicars have been delegated responsibilities for Latino ministry and retired priests. Regional vicars assist the Archbishop in a particular way by conducting regular parish visitations and completing reports on the status of the parish for the Archbishop, as required by canon law.
Lay Advisory Board
In late 2018, Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced the formation of an ad hoc Lay Advisory Board (LAB) for the Archdiocese. In the absence of an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, LAB serves as a vehicle for soliciting ideas and input from laity concerning initiatives for leading the Archdiocese forward to a renewed sense of mission. Members consist of one parish representative from each Parish Pastoral Council. Parish representatives meet together as a geographical deanery and elect one deanery representative each. These deanery representatives attend a LAB meeting with Archbishop Hebda four times per year.