Bishop Andrew Cozzens has recounted his birth story several times – how his mother, Judy, when she was pregnant with him, was advised by her doctor to have an abortion. Nancy Schulte Palacheck recently recalled that Judy told her doctor that God sends us all we can handle, that it was her baby and that she was going to have the baby.
Schulte Palacheck, family and lay outreach coordinator for the Office of Marriage, Family and Life in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, believes Bishop Cozzens felt a call to promote the cause pro -life from a young age, adding, “Look what (God) is done with him for all of us.”
On the one hand, said Schulte Palacheck, Bishop Cozzens was instrumental in passing Minnesota’s “safe house law” in 2000. It allows women to deliver unwanted, unharmed babies to families. specified places within seven days of birth.
Sonya Flomo, administrative assistant and grant administrator for the Archdiocese’s Life Fund, recalls meeting with then-Father Cozzens and two parishioners from St. Paul’s Cathedral of St. Paul to draft a mission statement for the shelter bill. She said he was working tirelessly to make sure this goes so that every child is treated “the same way they were treated.” Her mother trusted in God’s providence, she said, “and that is exactly what he is doing.
Flomo, who has worked with pro-life programs in the Archdiocese for 24 years, said when people hear Bishop Cozzens’ story their attitude changes and they see exactly why he is the way he is.
“Prayer is the root of his being,” she said. “He is a blessed child of God and he wants it for everyone.”
Schulte Palacheck said Bishop Cozzens is a big supporter of natural family planning and has regularly spoken to NFP teachers in the Archdiocese to support them in their work, and explained to other audiences why the Church encourages its use.
Bishop Cozzens regularly participates in pro-life events, including the annual Prayer for Life Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral and the accompanying Pro-Life Walk to the Minnesota Capitol. He has prayed at Planned Parenthood clinics, has been to the March for Life in Washington, DC every two years, and spoke last January at a March for Life: Youth Conference. and family in St. Paul. He was closely involved in the annual Champions for Life of Saint John Paul II awards of the Archdiocese.
Mary Jane Miller, a parishioner from St. Wenceslas in New Prague who attended Bishop Cozzens’ Thanksgiving Mass in St. Paul on November 28, said she was praying that the doctor who recommended the abortion to her mother who became this baby. “If that’s not a real miracle for anti-abortion (the causes),” she said.
Bishop Cozzens has also blessed ultrasound devices in women’s clinics, including a device recently received at the Alpha Women’s Center Mobile Medical Center at Our Lady of the Prairie in Belle Blaine.
He has acted on his pro-life passion for many years. During a live conversation with young adults on May 21, 2020, which included time for questions submitted, Bishop Cozzens said he was arrested six to eight times for civil disobedience while in college for blocking entrance to abortion clinics. He went to jail for it.
“I would just like to thank Bishop Cozzens for his dedication to the pro-life cause, for his help in leading and guiding our work,” said Schulte Palacheck.
“Witness of our faith”
On a personal note, Nancy Schulte Palacheck recalled how Bishop Cozzens helped his family when her son, Clark, was diagnosed with cancer in July 2016 at the age of 24 and died at age 25 in September 2017.
“He came to our house and met my son,” said Schulte Palacheck. “He walked very closely with us and loved Clark, and described how our journey doesn’t end here, and how it begins in the next one and how we have to prepare for this time.”
Bishop Cozzens heard his son’s last confession and officiated at his funeral mass. She described the bishop as humble, loving, caring and kind. “He is a beautiful witness to our faith,” she said, bringing people and their hearts closer to Jesus in a loving and caring way.
Category: Congratulations Bishop Cozzens