Archbishop Hebda, Bishop Cozzens invite young adults to January ‘ad limina’ visit in Rome

| May 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

Archbishop Bernard Hebda’s second “ad limina” visit with a pope and Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzen’s first will include some special guests — as many as 15 young adults are invited to accompany them on the trip to Rome.

The guest list is open, with Catholics ages 21 to 35 encouraged to provide a letter of recommendation explaining how they have shown leadership in evangelization. Alternatively, applicants can write a one-page essay explaining how Christ has worked through others in the local Church to draw them closer to Jesus.

“Pilgrimages always present golden opportunities for accompaniment,” Archbishop Hebda said. “Having lived in Rome for 18 years, I know that the Lord touches the hearts of young people as pilgrims in that city.”

The bishops’ visit with Pope Francis Jan. 13 — formally called “ad limina apostolorum,” which means “to the thresholds of the apostles” Peter and Paul — is periodically required of all bishops around the world. They provide detailed reports on their dioceses to the Holy Father, and there is a great deal of give-and-take.

During this visit, Archbishop Hebda and Bishop Cozzens will meet with Pope Francis in a group of bishops from Region VIII that includes all dioceses in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The last “ad limina” visit for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was between Archbishop John Nienstedt and now-retired Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.

Archbishop Hebda also visited with Pope Benedict on an “ad limina” that year, when he was bishop of Gaylord, Michigan.

Among other things in the upcoming visit, Archbishop Hebda will highlight the vibrant life of young Catholics in the archdiocese, said Vincenzo Randazzo of the archdiocese’s Office of Evangelization.

“If you’re a young Catholic in the Church, you know about the Twin Cities,” Randazzo said, citing such activities as young adult communities in parishes, Catholic Beer Club and Vespers at Lourdes gatherings for eucharistic adoration, faith formation and time to visit with cocktails and hors d’ouevres.

Reaching out to young people has been emphasized by St. Pope John Paul II, retired Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, who last year held a Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment, said Randazzo, who will lead the group of young adults for the “ad limina” visit.

“In that age range, people are figuring out life, their professional lives. It’s fertile ground for evangelization,” Randazzo said.

Archdiocesan leaders hope young adults on the trip will learn more about the Church, fan the flames of their own faith, enjoy Rome and spend time with Archbishop Hebda and Bishop Cozzens, Randazzo said. When they return, they can share their experiences and bring more people into the Church, he said.

The group will have experienced guides in Rome. Randazzo speaks Italian and has visited Rome three times, including a semester of study.

In addition to his previous “ad limina” visit, Archbishop Hebda studied in Rome for four years and served there for 14 years. Bishop Cozzens has visited Rome numerous times, and studied there for six years. He said he is looking forward to the visit.

“I’m always excited any time I get to meet the Holy Father,” Bishop Cozzens said. “Since this is my first ‘ad limina’ visit, it will be a great opportunity to learn more about how the universal Church works.”

Randazzo said Archbishop Hebda and Bishop Cozzens will want to show people on the trip what they know about Rome, and share meals and Mass with them. Details are still being worked out, but “they will spend a lot of time with our shepherds,” he said.

Young adults will pay for airfare, simple accommodations and most of their daily expenses. Applications should be directed to Randazzo at 651-291-4483 or

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