USCCB News Release
October 7, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pope Accepts Resignation of Bishop Patrick Cooney of Gaylord, Michigan, Names Pittsburgh Priest His Successor
WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Bishop Patrick R. Cooney of Gaylord, Michigan, and named as his successor, Msgr. Bernard A. Hebda, 50, a Pittsburgh priest and Under-Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.
Publication of the appointment was made in Washington, October 7, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bernard Hebda was born in Pittsburgh, September 3, 1959. He attended South Hills Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Harvard University, where he was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in 1980, and Columbia University, where he was awarded a Juris Doctor degree in 1983.
He attended North American College in Rome and earned a Licentiate of Canon Law degree from the Gregorian University in 1990.
Bishop-elect Hebda was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh on July 1, 1989.
Assignments after ordination included Parochial Vicar, Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, 1989; graduate studies at North American College, Rome, 1989-1990; Master of Ceremonies to the Diocesan Bishop, 1990-92; Team Ministry, Prince of Peace Parish, Pittsburgh, 1992-1995; Director, Campus Ministry, Slippery Rock University, 1995-1996; Official, Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, 1996-2003; and Undersecretary of the Council, 2003-present.
Bishop Cooney, 75, is a Detroit native, and was named an auxiliary bishop of Detroit in 1982, and Bishop of Gaylord in 1989. In the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops he has served as a consultant to the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and as a member of the board of directors of Catholic Relief Services.
The Gaylord Diocese includes 11,171 square miles. The total population of the diocese is estimated at 510,532 people, with 66,217, or 13 percent, of them Catholic.