What we do

Homily stories

When the time is right, the call is there

When Bernard Hebda was in eighth grade, he thought he had an idea of what God was calling him to do, but he wasn’t sure: God either wanted him to become a priest or a bus driver. Confused, he spoke to his parish priest, who in turn spoke to Bernard’s parents. “When he learns how to clean his room, he can become a priest,” they said. Apparently that was enough to dissuade him from the priesthood, at least for a while. But he didn’t become a bus driver either. After high school and college, Bernard went to law school, and although he still wanted to become a priest, he had student loans to pay off, so he went to work as a lawyer. But not for long.

Like the disciples who didn’t always understand what Jesus was telling them, Bernard prayed for the wisdom to know what God wanted, and he kept listening. He finally got it: God simply hadn’t been ready for him yet, and then eventually he was. And that’s when Bernard started his path to priesthood. He’s now the Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.