Letter from Archbishop Hebda

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am writing to you today about some upcoming changes that will have an impact on the Catholic community in your area. . Up until now, St. Nicholas in Elko New Market and Immaculate Conception in Lonsdale have been served by individual pastors, Father Patrick Barnes and Father Nick VanDenBroeke.  That will be changing effective July 1, 2020.

Since Father Barnes has received a new assignment (as pastor of St. Henry in Monticello) effective July 1, 2020, I have asked Father VanDenBroeke, who is continuing as pastor in Lonsdale,  to also serve as both Parochial Administrator of St. Nicholas parish and Canonical Administrator of Holy Cross School.   As many of you already know, Father VanDenBroeke is passionate about the value of Catholic education and is particularly enthusiastic about Holy Cross School. I am confident he will be able to continue the good work that has been undertaken during Fr. Barnes’ tenure as canonical administrator, building on the tri-parish community’s solid support for Holy Cross.

While Fr. VanDenBroeke will be serving both St. Nicholas and Immaculate Conception, the two parishes remain separate.   I have named him as “parochial administrator” rather than “pastor” at St. Nicholas to signify that I intend to review this arrangement in a year’s time to make sure that both parishes are thriving.   Father VanDenBroeke’s rights and responsibilities as administrator are essentially the same as those of a pastor so the expectation is that he will be serving both parishes equally.  I am hoping that the sharing of a shepherd will increase collaboration between the two communities.

To assist Father VanDenBroeke and enable him to take on these additional responsibilities, I have assigned Father John Powers as the Parochial Vicar for both St. Nicholas and Immaculate Conception. Father Powers is also a strong supporter of Catholic schools and a capable proclaimer of the Good News, and has a heart for serving those in need.

I hasten to express my appreciation to Father Barnes for his exemplary ministry in Elko New Market and at Holy Cross School these past seven years, and my gratitude to Father VanDenBroeke and Father Powers for their willingness to embrace this new assignment.

May the same Holy Spirit who filled the first disciples at Pentecost be your strength as you together explore a new Pentecost for the Elko New Market and Lonsdale area,

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda

Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis


(PDF of the letter here: 2020-05-15 – Archbishop’s Letter to Elko New Market and Lonsdale communities )