The Roman Catholic Church has announced that the Most Rev. Andrew Cozzens of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has been appointed as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Crookston. His installation Mass will be on Dec. 6.

Cozzens has served as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis since 2013. In the Archdiocese, he has served as vicar for Catholic Education and supervised the Archdiocesan Synod Process. Cozzens currently serves as the chair of the board for NET Ministries, St. Paul’s Outreach, The Institute for Priestly Formation and The Seminary Formation Council. Cozzens is also the chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.

“I am humbled and honored to be asked by the Holy Father to be the next Shepherd of the Diocese of Crookston. I look forward to getting to know the priests, deacons, consecrated religious and many faithful laity of the diocese. I pray that together we can grow to be Christ’s faithful disciples who make present his love in northwestern Minnesota,” said Cozzens.

“The Diocese of Crookston extends a heartfelt welcome to our new shepherd, Bishop Andrew Cozzens,” said the Most Rev. Richard Pates, apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Crookston. “He brings an engaging pastoral spirit, extensive experience, positive energy and will soon have the smell of the sheep of northwest Minnesota on his person. May his days among us be especially blessed.”

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Cozzens succeeds Bishop Michael Hoeppner, whose resignation was accepted by Pope Francis on April 13. The Diocese of Crookston serves the 14 northwest counties of Minnesota, and more than 32,000 Catholics and 66 parishes.

Hoeppner was requested to resign at the request of the Pope following a more than year's long investigation into reports that the Diocese covered up reports of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. The investigation, which began in 2019, was the first time a U.S. bishop had been formally investigated under new rules implemented by the pope as the church aimed to standardize the protocol for investigating clergy sexual abuse, the Herald had previously reported.