Benedictine College Announces Bishop Cozzens as 2020 Commencement Speaker

Benedictine College Announces Bishop Cozzens as 2020 Commencement Speaker

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Bishop Andrew CozzensBenedictine College is pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for the 2020 Commencement ceremony will be the Most Reverend Andrew H. Cozzens, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and a Benedictine alumnus from the class of 1991. Commencement is set for May 16, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. in the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium on the college campus in Atchison, Kansas. It is a ticketed event for friends and families of the graduates.

A native of Denver, Bishop Cozzens is the youngest of three children. He has many family connections to Benedictine and feels that his faith was deepened when he was in Atchison. While at Benedictine, he earned bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and Philosophy with a minor in Journalism, served as a Resident Assistant, was a founding member of Ravens Respect Life and was the features editor of The Circuit student newspaper.

In a 1990 Circuit edition, 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.”

During a period of discernment after college, he served as a travelling missionary to young people around the country with Twin Cities-based NET Ministries. He then worked for Saint Paul’s Outreach, where he served as co-director of campus outreach.

Cozzens was ordained in 1997 and served as parochial vicar at the Cathedral of Saint Paul and then Faribault Catholic Community (now Divine Mercy) before being sent to Rome for doctoral 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. Upon his return to Minnesota, Bishop Cozzens began service as an instructor at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity.

Cozzens is a founding member of the priestly association Companions of Christ. 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, of St. Paul’s Outreach Board of Directors in Saint Paul, and co-chaplain of the Serra Club of the Twin Cities.

Pope Francis named him Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in the United States and Titular Bishop of Bisica in 2013.

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, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and 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.