Elizabeth Hayden, a retired district court judge for the State of Minnesota, has been appointed to serve on the National Review Board by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The National Review Board advises the bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, and the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection at the USCCB. It was established by the “Charter for Protection of Children and Young People,” which the bishops adopted in 2002.
Hayden is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph with a degree in social work. While in that field, she held positions in a psychiatric hospital, county social services and the state department of residential licensing. She received her law degree from Oklahoma City University. Subsequently, she served as a prosecutor in the office the Stearns County Attorney for six years before being appointed a district court judge.
In her more than 23 years as a judge she presided over criminal, civil and family law cases and trials, including many sexual abuse cases. She served as chair of the Minnesota Supreme Court Committee on the General Rules of Practice, which led to a change in the state’s law to allow cameras in the courtroom.
After being appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, she served on a three-judge panel that presided over the U.S. Senate election contest of Norm Coleman vs. Al Franken. Hayden was president of the Minnesota District Judges Association. She has served on the board of trustees of the College of St. Benedict and is currently a member of the board of governors of the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis. She is also a trustee for St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud.
Appointed by Bishop Donald Kettler, she is a member of the Diocesan Review Board for the Diocese of St. Cloud and is serving her second term as chair. As a member of the CentraCare Health Foundation Board, she chairs the grants committee. Hayden and her husband, retired Judge Charles Flinn, live in St. Cloud.
“The bishops are very grateful to the board for the work that it does and believe that it has been a tremendous help with the continued healing of the Church and protection efforts,” Cardinal DiNardo said in a letter sent to the newly appointed members. “The prudent counsel that the board has provided has been beneficial to so many as we continue to establish cultures of protection and healing.”
Also appointed to the board were:
• John Sheveland, professor of religious studies and the current Flannery Chair of Roman Catholic Theology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and;
• Belinda Taylor, a recently retired licensed professional counselor-supervisor working with child and adult victims of sexual abuse, as well as providing individual, family, and play therapy. She also served as the first victim assistance coordinator on contract for the Diocese of Amarillo for 16 years.
A feature story about Judge Hayden will appear in the August issue of The Central Minnesota Catholic magazine.