WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis to head the Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota.
He has been an auxiliary bishop for the Minnesota archdiocese since 2013. A native of Denver, he was ordained a priest for St. Paul and Minneapolis in in 1997.
His appointment to Crookston was announced in Washington Oct. 18 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. His installation Mass has been set for Monday, Dec. 6. Vespers will take place on Sunday, Dec. 5, according to a news release from the Diocese of Crookston.
Bishop Cozzens succeeds Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner, whose resignation was accepted April 13 by Pope Francis. As requested by the pope, Bishop Hoeppner, 71, resigned following a 20-month investigation into allegations that he mishandled claims of clergy sexual abuse.
The pope appointed retired Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, to serve as apostolic administrator of the Crookston Diocese until the appointment of a new bishop.
“I am humbled and honored to be asked by the Holy Father to be the next shepherd of the Diocese of Crookston,” Bishop Cozzens said in the news release. “I look forward to getting to know the priests, deacons, consecrated religious and many faithful laity of the diocese. I pray that together we can grow to be Christ’s faithful disciples who make present his love in Northwestern Minnesota.”
Bishop Cozzens was born Aug. 3, 1968. He is the son of Jack and Judy Cozzens and the youngest of three children. He graduated from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. During a period of discernment after college, Bishop Cozzens served as a traveling missionary to young people around the country with Twin Cities-based NET Ministries. During his first month as a missionary, his NET team served in the Diocese of Crookston putting on retreats in the parishes and schools throughout the diocese.
After serving with NET Ministries, he joined the Companions of Christ, a fraternity of diocesan priests in St. Paul, and worked for Saint Paul’s Outreach leading college Bible study groups.
After his year of discernment, he was accepted into the St. Paul Seminary. In 1997, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Bishop Cozzens 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. Upon his return to Minnesota, he served as a professor of sacramental theology and a formator at the St. Paul Seminary from 2006 until 2013.
In the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Bishop Cozzens has served as vicar for Catholic education and supervised the archdiocesan synod Process while overseeing the offices of Latino Ministry, Evangelization, and Marriage, Family and Life.
He currently serves as the chair of the board for NET Ministries, St. Paul’s Outreach, The Institute for Priestly Formation and The Seminary Formation Council. Additionally, Bishop Cozzens is the chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, where on behalf of the bishops he is leading a three-year National Eucharistic Revival that will begin in June 2022.
Photo: Courtesy of Diocese of Crookston.