NFPC president and board announce Touchstone and Mandatum award recipients

Father Anthony Cutcher, NFPC president, and its Board of Directors have announced the recipients of the organization’s Touchstone and Mandatum awards for 2017.

D_CozzensFather Donald B. Cozzens, a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland will receive NFPC’s Touchstone award.

Father Cozzens, a professor, writer, retreat master, former rector-president of Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, and former vicar for clergy in Cleveland is a “priest who, in the view of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils, is one whose service in the Gospel of Jesus Christ exemplifies the purpose and goals of the Federation.

“In particular, his leadership enhances the ministry of others and his words and deeds support the life and ministry of priests; thus he is, as it were, a Touchstone for genuine, quality priesthood.”

Father Cozzens recently retired as writer-in-residence and adjunct professor of Theology at John Carroll University in Cleveland.

His experience as vicar for clergy and seminary rector-president led him to his best-selling and award-winning book, The Changing Face of the Priesthood [Liturgical Press, 2000]. The book, considered a tour-de-force in describing US Catholic priesthood at the time, has been translated into eight languages including Portuguese, Italian, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Czech, and Korean editions.

His subsequent books include, Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church (2002), Faith That Dares to Speak (2004), Freeing Celibacy, all published by Liturgical Press, and most recently Notes from the Underground: The Spiritual Journal of a Secular, published by Orbis Books in 2013. His award winning first novel, Master of Ceremonies (ACTA/In Extenso), was published in 2015.

Father Cozzens has served as spiritual director, counselor, and retreat master for monks, nuns, priests, and bishops. His doctoral research focused on the philosophical anthropology of the Lutheran philosopher and theologian, Paul Tillich.

NBCCCThe National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, a charter member of NFPC, will receive NFPC’s Mandatum award.

The award is “presented to an individual or organization whose service in the Gospel of Jesus Christ exemplifies the purpose and goals of the Federation.

“In particular, the leadership of this individual or organization enhances the ministry of presbyteral councils, seeks to expound on the issues and concerns of priests, and champions NFPC’s mission and goals in the public square.” The award’s scriptural reference is: “I have given you a model to follow, so as I have done for you, you should do also.” [John 13: 15].

Founded in 1968, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus serves as a fraternity for Black Catholic Clergy and Religious to support the spiritual, theological, educational, and ministerial growth of its members. Membership is composed of Black Catholic ordained bishops, priests, permanent deacons and their wives, religious brothers and seminarians.

NBCCC is committed to taking care of the spiritual needs of African American brothers and sisters.  Celebrations are holistic and this is expressed in the joy and spirit of our liturgies and the character of our ministries. NBCCC is a vehicle to bring the contributions of the Black Community to fruition within the Catholic Church.

The proud achievements of NBCCC include founding the National Association of Black Catholic Deacons, co-founding the National Office for Black Catholics (NOBC), the Black Catholic Theological Symposium, publishing the Declaration on Racism and the Catholic Church, establishing the Institute of Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans, and establishing the Pan African Roman Catholic Clergy Caucus.

Father Kenneth Taylor, president of NBCCC and a priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, will receive the award on behalf of the organization.

The awards will be presented on April 25 at a reception and banquet during NFPC’s annual Convocation in Anaheim, California.  For more information on the Convocation, go to: