Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

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Msgr. John Kozar named Distinguished Alumnus at Saint Meinrad

August 02, 2017

John -Kozar -for -webRev. Msgr. John Kozar, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, PA, was honored on August 1 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, at the annual Saint Meinrad Alumni Reunion held in St. Meinrad, IN. He graduated from Saint Meinrad College in 1967.

The award, given by the Saint Meinrad Alumni Association, was begun in 1990 to honor alumni who exemplify the Gospel values and have provided exemplary service in their lives or professions. The association's board of directors reviews nominations for the award annually and makes the recommendations.

Msgr. Kozar is president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and the Pontifical Mission for Palestine. On behalf of the Holy Father, Msgr. Kozar oversees the Catholic Church's aid to Christians in the Near East and Middle East - about 16 countries.

He attended Saint Meinrad High School and College, graduating in 1967 and continuing his seminary studies at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, MD. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1971.

Then-Father Kozar spent the early years of his priesthood as an associate pastor at various parishes in the Pittsburgh Diocese. In 1978, he was named the development coordinator for the diocese's mission office, making yearly pastoral visits to the diocese's mission in Chimbote, Peru.

He also worked from 1987 to 2001 as pilgrimage director for the diocese, from 1995 to 1997 as vicar for clergy, from 1995 to 2001 as diocesan director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, and from 1997 to 2001 as director of the Diocesan Jubilee Office - while simultaneously serving as pastor of several parishes.

Then in 2001, he was named national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies. Responsibilities for the national offices of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Society of Saint Peter Apostle, the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious, and the Holy Childhood Association were added later that year.

Since 2011, Msgr. Kozar has been leading the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, where he oversees the organization's mission to support the Eastern Catholic churches, provide humanitarian assistance, promote Christian unity and interreligious understanding and collaboration, educate people about the churches of the East, and offer pastoral support to seminaries and religious orders.

He becomes the 26th Saint Meinrad alumnus to receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award.