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.
The award will be presented on April 25 at a reception and banquet during NFPC’s annual Convocation in Anaheim, California.