The Rev. Andrew Cozzens, an assistant professor of systematic theology and director of worship at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, has been appointed by Pope Francis to be an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Vatican announced today.
Bishop-elect Cozzens will join Bishop Lee Piché in this service. Cozzens’ ordination is planned for Dec. 9, 2013, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, at the St. Paul Cathedral.
“I am honored by our Holy Father’s appointment and look forward to serving this local church as auxiliary bishop,” Cozzens said. “We are blessed with many active, faithful and vibrant parishes, Catholic schools and ministry organizations throughout the archdiocese. I am grateful for being called to assist them in their efforts to make the name of Jesus Christ known and loved.”
A native of Denver, Colo., Cozzens is the youngest of three children. At Benedictine College he experienced a deepening of his faith through the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. During a period of discernment after college, Cozzens served as a traveling missionary to young people around the country with Twin Cities-based NET Ministries. He then joined the Companions of Christ in St. Paul and worked for St. Paul’s Outreach leading college Bible study groups.
After his year of discernment he was accepted into the St. Paul Seminary. Four years later, in 1997, Cozzens was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He served as parochial vicar at the Cathedral of St. Paul and then Faribault Catholic Community (now Divine Mercy) before being sent to Rome for doctoral studies.
Cozzens holds four degrees: Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy, Benedictine College, Atchison, Kan., 1991; Master of Divinity, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, 1997; Master of Arts in Theology, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, 1997; and Doctorate in Sacred Theology, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome, 2008. He also holds a License in Sacred Theology, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome, 2002.
Cozzens began teaching at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in 2006.
"It will be a privilege for me to work with Archbishop Nienstedt. I also look forward to working with Bishop Piché, who provides such a good model of the special service of an auxiliary bishop,” Cozzens said.
Archbishop John Nienstedt expressed gratitude for the pope’s selection of Bishop-elect Cozzens: “I am thankful for the Holy Father’s gift of another bishop to serve the pastoral needs of this great archdiocese, especially among our Latino community. I am fortunate to have Bishop-elect Cozzens and Bishop Piché by my side to better serve the faithful of this local church.”