Bishop-elect’s friends, family to play role at ordination

| November 20, 2013 | 0 Comments
Bishop-elect Andrew Cozzens

Bishop-elect Andrew Cozzens

Friends and family members of Bishop-elect Andrew Cozzens will make important contributions to his episcopal ordination, both during the ceremony and in the lead up to the day.

The ordination Mass for the new auxiliary bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis is set for 2 p.m. Dec. 9 — which this year is observed as the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary — at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Archbishop John Nienstedt will be the principal celebrant, and Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn and Bishop Paul Sirba of Duluth will serve as co-consecrators.

“I chose Archbishop Flynn because he ordained me to the priesthood and has been a great friend and example to me, and also Bishop Sirba because he and I worked together at the seminary; he’s also been a great friend to me,” said Bishop-elect Cozzens who has served for the last seven and a half years as an instructor at the St. Paul Seminary.

Two priest friends — Father Thomas Margevicius, a fellow instructor at the seminary, and Father Jon Vander Ploeg, pastor of St. Lawrence and the Newman Center in Minneapolis — will assist Bishop-elect Cozzens as chaplains during the Mass. His oldest niece will proclaim one of the readings.

Symbols of a bishop

During the ordination rite, Bishop-elect Cozzens will receive three objects that symbolize his role as a bishop: a ring, crosier and miter.

His family is donating the ring. It will feature the image that is on the back of the Miraculous Medal, which “contains a little catechism about the Christian life,” Bishop-elect Cozzens said. It includes an altar and cross, signifying the significance of the Mass; an “M” for Mary, “who teaches us how to surrender our lives in the Mass;” the hearts of Jesus and Mary; and 12 stars representing the Twelve Apostles.

The crosier, or pastoral staff, symbolizes a bishop’s responsibility to lead his flock to Christ. Bishop-elect Cozzens’ crosier is a gift from both friends and family and is being carved by a nephew of Bishop Sirba who is a professional wood carver. The new bishop’s coat of arms will be carved in the crosier’s crook.

The miter will be a gift from some of Bishop-elect Cozzens’ former students who are now priests.

He also will receive two pectoral crosses as episcopal ordination gifts — one from classmates and another from the Companions of Christ, the fraternity of priests to which he belongs. Archbishop Nienstedt also gave a pectoral cross to Bishop-elect Cozzens after his appointment by Pope Francis was announced Oct. 11.

The faithful are invited to attend the ordination Mass as well as a reception afterward at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown St. Paul.

Seating and parking at the Cathedral are limited. There are several off-site parking options, including the St. Paul College parking ramp (cost $5) and Minnesota History Center parking lot (cost $5).

Chartered shuttle buses will run from the above lots to the Cathedral at 1 p.m. Buses from the Cathedral to the off-site parking lots and the Crowne Plaza will begin running immediately following the ordination. Buses will make return trips to the off-site parking lots from the hotel throughout the afternoon.

The ordination will be live-streamed on and carried live on local Metro Cable Channel 6 for those living in the greater Twin Cities metro area. (Check your local cable TV listings for details.)

The ceremony also will be broadcast live with commentary by Paul Sadek on Relevant Radio 1330 AM and via online streaming at, keyword “bishop.”

Tell us your story

Do you have a good story about Bishop-elect Andrew Cozzens? Has he made an important difference in your faith life and participation in the Church? If so, we would like to hear from you as we prepare additional coverage of his episcopal ordination.

Send your story via email to: Or mail it to: The Catholic Spirit, 244 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102. Please include your name, address, parish affiliation and a daytime telephone number at which you can be reached if we have questions.


Category: Bishop Cozzens