In chilly Minnesota, archbishop has warm welcome for Super Bowl visitors

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Archbishop Bernard J. Hebda may be a Pittsburgh native, but like a true Minnesotan, he began a welcome video for Super Bowl visitors talking about the weather.

“The weather here can get a little chilly this time of year, but as a transplant myself, I can tell you firsthand, the people and hospitality here are warm and inviting,” the archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in a 76-second video taped in the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Fans pose for a photo in a snow globe Jan. 31 ahead of Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis taped a welcome video for visitors coming to the Twin Cities for the game between the NFC champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the AFC champions, the New England Patriots, at U.S. Bank Stadium Feb. 4. (CNS photo | Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

The video was posted Jan. 30 to the archdiocese’s website, www.archspm.org. It also can be viewed in the local news section on the site of the archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Spirit, thecatholicspirit.com.

Minneapolis will host the 2018 Super Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium Feb. 4. A million visitors are expected to visit the Twin Cities for the big game.

“My prayer for this special weekend is that all of you — teams, vendors, families, media and all guests — have a safe and fun visit,” said Archbishop Hebda, who has headed the archdiocese since 2016.

He said he also hoped that the Twin Cities’ guests visit one of the archdiocese’s “more than 180 Catholic parishes,” naming the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, the nation’s first basilica, which is located on the west end of Minneapolis a mile-and-a-half from the stadium, and the Cathedral of St. Paul, which overlooks downtown St. Paul.

“You can explore their beauty, have a few quiet moments or attend Mass in one of a dozen languages,” he said.

“Again a warm welcome to all of you, from all of us,” he said.

The video concluded with welcomes in seven different languages from individuals and groups representing different immigrant communities in the archdiocese.