The son of Bernard and the late Helen Clark Hebda, the Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda was born on September 3, 1959 in Pittsburgh, PA.
Bernard Hebda attended Resurrection Elementary School in Brookline, PA, and then graduated from South Hills Catholic High School in Pittsburgh in 1977. He continued his education at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980 followed by a juris doctor degree from the Columbia University School of Law in 1983. He was admitted to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1983 and worked as an associate in the law firm of Reed, Smith, Shaw and McClay.
In 1984, he enrolled at St. Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh and pursued the required studies in philosophy at Duquesne University before being sent to North American College in Rome in 1985 where he completed his theological studies and earned his S.T.B. from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1989.
He was ordained a deacon on April 6, 1989 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome by Archbishop John Quinn, and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Donald W. Wuerl on July 1, 1989 in St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh. After his ordination, he served briefly as Parochial Vicar Pro Tem
at Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Elwood City, PA, before returning to Rome to complete his licentiate in canon law, which he received in 1990 from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Upon returning from Pittsburgh, Fr. Hebda served in the bishop’s office as Master of Ceremonies from 1990-1992, in team ministry at Prince of Peace Parish on Pittsburgh’s South Side from 1992-1995, and as director of campus ministry at the Slippery Rock University Newman Center from 1995-1996. He also served on the Canonical Advisory Council, the Priest Council and the Priest Personnel Board of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
In 1996, he was appointed to work in the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts in Rome, which is responsible for the interpretation of the Church’s laws, especially the Code of Canon Law. In 2003, St. John Paul II named him Undersecretary of the Council.
While in Rome, he also served as an adjunct spiritual director at the North American College and as a confessor for the postulants of the Missionaries of Charity (founded by Blessed Mother Teresa) and for the Sisters of that community working at a home for unwed mothers.
He was named Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord on October 7, 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI. His Episcopal ordination took place on December 1, 2009. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron was the Principal Consecrator, with Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio and Bishop Patrick R. Cooney as co-consecrators.
On September 24, 2013, Pope Francis named Bishop Hebda Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark.
On June 15, 2015, Pope Francis named him Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.