Father Andrew Cozzens
Father Andrew Cozzens
WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Father Andrew Cozzens, an associate professor at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, Minn., as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Bishop-designate Cozzens, 45, was ordained a priest of the archdiocese in 1997. He has been on the faculty of St. Paul Seminary since 2006.

The appointment was announced Oct. 11 by Msgr. Angelo Accatino, charge d'affaires at the apostolic nunciature in Washington.

The newly named bishop's ordination Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Paul Dec. 9, which is the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in a statement he was thankful for the pope's "gift of another bishop to serve the pastoral needs of this great archdiocese, especially among our Latino community."

He said he is fortunate to have a new auxiliary joining Auxiliary Bishop Lee A. Piche in serving the archdiocese and having both "by my side to better serve the faithful of this local church."

Bishop-designate Cozzens said he was honored by Pope Francis' appointment and looked forward to his new role in the archdiocese.

"We are blessed with many active, faithful and vibrant parishes, Catholic schools and ministry organizations throughout the archdiocese," He said in a statement. "I am grateful for being called to assist them in their efforts to make the name of Jesus Christ known and loved."

"It will be a privilege for me to work with Archbishop Nienstedt. I also look forward to working with Bishop Piche, who provides such a good model of the special service of an auxiliary bishop," he added.

A native of Denver, Bishop-designate Cozzens is the youngest of three children. He graduated from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kans., where he experienced a deepening of his faith through the Catholic charismatic renewal.

During a period of discernment after college, he 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.

In 1993, he entered St. Paul Seminary. After his priestly ordination four years later, he was assigned to be parochial vicar at the Cathedral of St. Paul and then Faribault Catholic Community (now Divine Mercy) before being sent to Rome for doctoral studies, 2002-2006. Upon his return to Minnesota, then-Father Cozzens first joined the faculty at St. Paul Seminary as an instructor.

His assignments included parochial vicar, St. Vincent de Paul Parish, St. Paul, 2006-2008; assistant director, archdiocesan office of worship, 2008-2010; co-chaplain, Twin Cities Sierra Club, 2011-present; and adjunct professor for the Institute for Priestly Formation, Omaha, 2009-present.