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Bishop-elect Cozzens in 2008.
Pope Francis has named Father Andrew H. Cozzens, Benedictine College class of 1991, new auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in the United States and titular bishop of Bisica.
Many Benedictine College graduates have served the Church as bishops — Bishop Cozzens is the fifth Raven Bishop since the year 2000.
At the time of his new appointment, Father Cozzens was assistant professor at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Cozzens was born in 1968 in Stamford, Conn. At Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature and philosophy with a minor in Journalism. He was a member of Ravens Respect Life and features editor of The Circuit.
“We are very excited to have another Raven bishop,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis. “It shows that the Benedictine College education is truly forming Catholics at the service of the Church. This is why we are called the Flagship College of the New Evangelization.”
In a 1990 Circuit, Cozzens reflected on the faith life at Benedictine College:
“The Eucharist is truly a community event, especially at Benedictine where students know each other so well,” Cozzens wrote. “At the Mass, friends join together truly united; united by faith.”
Benedictine College chaplain Father Brendan Rolling remembered him fondly. “He was an amazing leader and friend as a student. He was a student editor of the school paper, a founding officer of Ravens Respect Life and a resident assistant of St. Joseph Hall,” he said. “His efforts in Net and SPO strengthened the presence of these movements at Benedictine College.”
Father Matthew Habiger, former president of Human Life International, knew Cozzens as a student. “Bishop elect Andrew Cozzens, and his fellow Ravens Respect Life, helped Benedictine College rediscover the dynamism and dignity of its Catholic identity in the late 1980s,” he said. “Benedictine College was a good testing ground for him.”
Father Joseph Taphorn, class of 1993, reflected on the number of leaders for the Church who got started at Benedictine College.
“It’s something to be proud of as an institution that so many men and women choose priesthood and consecrated life and so many of those become leaders in the Church,” he said. “You see the Church recognizing and perfecting the good work that began during the college years at Benedictine.”
Father Taphorn is a former roommate of Abbot James Albers and traveled to World Youth Day in Denver with Father Rolling. He is a Church leader himself, former chancellor and now Moderator of the Curia, Vicar for Clergyand Judicial Vicar in the Omaha archdiocese.
There is a proud tradition of Raven bishops in the Church. Alumni bishops include:
Cozzens was ordained in 1997 and served at two parishes before moving to Rome for graduate studies. He earned his licentiate (2002) and doctorate (2008) in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). For four years during his time in Rome, he served as chaplain for the Missionaries of Charity.
Cozzens is also a founding member of the priestly association Companions of Christ.
Cozzens also served on National Evangelization Teams (NET) for one year and then was co-director of Campus Outreach, St. Paul’s Outreach in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
“He has a great sense of humor and a profound faith that has always been contagious to those he is around,” said Sam Schoenfelder, the Kansas director of St. Paul’s Outreach. “Saint Paul’s Outreach is very excited to have such a dear friend and brother in Chirst called to such service in the Church.”
Cozzens has served as assistant director for the Office for Worship and is a member of the Mission Advisory Council and Corporate Board of the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, of St. Paul’s Outreach Board of Directors in Saint Paul, and co-chaplain of the Serra Club of the Twin Cities.
Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.