Bishop Cozzens elected to lead USCCB’s Committee on Evangelization, Catechesis

| November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis was elected chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis at the bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore.

Succeeding Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles, Bishop Cozzens will serve one year as chairman-elect before beginning a three-year term at the conclusion of the bishops’ 2020 Fall General Assembly.

“I’m humbled and honored that my brother bishops in the USCCB would choose me to chair the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis,” Bishop Cozzens said after the Nov. 12 vote.

“This committee deals with some of the most pressing issues of our time: How do we evangelize the growing number of those who have left behind organized religion? How do we evangelize our youth so they never leave the Church? And, how do we form our people into the missionary disciples Pope Francis has called them to be? We must dedicate ourselves to these essential needs of the Church in our day, because as St. Paul VI said, ‘The Church exists to evangelize!’”

Archbishop Bernard Hebda, who also attended the Nov. 11-13 assembly, said Bishop Cozzens’ election is a well-deserved recognition of his experience in catechesis and evangelization, both in the archdiocese and nationally.

“He will be a worthy successor to Bishop Robert Barron in this important work,” the archbishop said. “The USCCB will be blessed to have a leader who collaborates so well with bishops and lay experts alike.”

As a young adult, Bishop Cozzens served as a missionary with NET Ministries, which reaches out to high school students, and St. Paul’s Outreach, which evangelizes on college campuses. He currently serves on the board of directors of both national organizations, which were founded in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

“These organizations helped form my own heart with zeal for evangelization,” Bishop Cozzens said. “I hope to be of service in bringing that zeal more broadly to our whole Church.”

Bishop Cozzens, 51, was one of five bishops elected to chair committees. Archbishop Jose Gomez, 67, of Los Angeles was elected to a three-year term as president of the conference, succeeding Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the outgoing president. Archbishop Gomez’s term as president begins when the assembly ends.

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