Pope Francis taps Benedictine college alum as new bishop

ATCHISON — Pope Francis has named Father Andrew H. Cozzens, Benedictine College class of 1991, new auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minn.,  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 an assistant professor at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, Minn.

Bishop-elect Cozzens was born in 1968 in Stamford, Conn. At Benedictine College in Atchison, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature and philosophy. He was a member of Ravens Respect

Life and features editor of The Circuit, the college newspaper.

“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.”

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 (National Evangelization Teams) and SPO (St. Paul’s Outreach) strengthened the presence of these movements at Benedictine College.”

Bishop-elect 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 St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). For four years during his time in Rome, he served as chaplain for the Missionaries of Charity.

Also a founding member of the priestly association Companions of Christ, Bishop-elect Cozzens served on NET for one year and then was co-director of SPO in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

He 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, Neb.; of SPO board of directors in St. Paul; and co-chaplain of the Serra Club of the Twin Cities.

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