Public Invited to Attend Free Event

BISMARCK, ND — In an online video with popular Catholic radio host Lino Rulli, Bishop Andrew Cozzens can be seen sporting a NET ministries T-shirt rock-climbing in the mountains while teaching Rulli about the faith. Father Cozzens, at the time, tells Rulli, “There’s another lesson that rock-climbing teaches us, Lino — it’s about falling. In the Christian life, when we try something we fall — like this — ahh,” as he purposely leans away from the rock. “But there’s always somebody there to catch us.”

As a past missionary of NET ministries and Bible study leader for college groups through St. Paul’s Outreach, Bishop Cozzens has first-hand experience with the joys and sorrows that young people face. It is fitting that his talk is entitled “Finding Joy In the Cross: The Key to Abundant Life,” which will be presented at the third annual St. Hildegard Lecture Series, Friday, February 23, 10 a.m., in Founders Hall at the University of Mary’s new Lumen Vitae University Center. This event is free and open to the public.

The St. Hildegard Lecture is an annual event meant to bring to campus significant Catholic intellectuals, both ecclesiastical and lay leaders, to reflect on the importance of the main themes of the University of Mary Catholic Studies program: the relationship of faith and reason, the role of beauty and art in culture, and the mission to transform the world. The lecture is named for St. Hildegard, a 11th century Benedictine Abbess and Doctor of the Church, who as a mystic, expert on medicine, poet, and musician represents the integration we seek in the Catholic Studies program.

Bishop Cozzens believes strongly in the healing mission of the Church. According to The Catholic Spirit, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, he once said, “I’ve been very impressed with Pope Francis’ image that the Church is like a field hospital. We’re living in a world in which there are many hurting people. I just hope my ministry as a bishop will be part of the healing that flows from the heart of Jesus for people.” He added, “If I can in any way be part of healing, in all kinds of ways, that’s how I want to serve.”

Bishop Cozzens has an abiding love of evangelization. “I’ve always tried to live my priesthood in an evangelistic way — that is, being attentive to making the Gospel attractive so that people can come to see and understand its power,” Bishop-elect Cozzens, at the time, shared with The Catholic Spirit. “But also reaching out to those people who are not currently connected to the Church and don’t know the love of Jesus. So I’ve always tried to do that.”

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is a Catholic community of 187 parishes, 23 of which have a special focus on Hispanic ministry in order to meet the spiritual needs of thousands of Hispanic Catholics. Bishop Cozzens studied Spanish while he was in Mexico as the parochial vicar of the Faribault Catholic Community from 2000-2002 and is fluent in the language. He has been known to use this skill to help out with Spanish Masses whenever he could. Before his appointment as auxiliary bishop, he told The Catholic Spirit, “I love working with Hispanic people. I love Hispanic ministry.”

Pope Francis appointed Bishop Andrew Cozzens as auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 2013 and he was ordained on December 9, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception that year. He said of that day, “I have a great devotion to Our Lady, so I’m very grateful for her intercession and prayers, and the opportunity to be ordained on her feast day is really a great thing.”

It is uncertain whether His Excellency will be found climbing the rock wall in the fieldhouse during his visit to the University of Mary, but either way, under Our Lady’s patronage, the school is certainly honored to welcome Bishop Cozzens.


About the University of Mary

True to its motto “lumen vitae”—the light of life—the University of Mary offers education for the whole of life through cutting-edge professional programs grounded in a solid liberal arts tradition.

A Christian, Catholic, Benedictine institution founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers over 60 undergraduate degrees, 14 master’s degrees, and four doctoral programs in Occupational Therapy, Education, Nursing Practice and Physical Therapy. With over 3,000 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Arizona, Rome and Milan, Italy and Arequipa, Peru as well as vibrant online offerings. For more information, visit