In New Wine Wednesday

By Alyssa Bormes

Happy People by Sheila Santillan via Pixabay. CC0 Public Domain 

Somehow saying “there are days” seems like it will be followed with doom and gloom. However, there are days that are just so good, all you can do is marvel at God’s providence that He allowed you to experience it. Last spring I had such a day.


Let’s start with some facts. Judy Cozzens is a hero of mine. She is the mother of Bishop Andrew Cozzens, the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Perhaps you never heard about the beginning of His Excellency’s life. Judy was strongly encouraged to have an abortion; if she refused, the doctor would no longer care for her and her baby. She refused, and another doctor cared for them.


Here are some more facts. Kim Haverstock is another hero. Her son is the recently ordained Father Paul Haverstock. Kim and her husband Henry are converts to the Faith; their son was already in the seminary when they converted.


Just one more fact: both Judy and Kim are able to sew.


Here is the story. It was just a regular old weekday, and I was walking through the parish offices. The door was open to one small meeting room, and I could hear women’s voices, so I thought I would stop and see who was there. And then I saw one of the most beautiful things.


As a parish, we had collected money to buy vestments for then Deacon Haverstock. He was studying in Rome, and it seemed natural that he would go to one of the shops there to get custom-made vestments. But it was so much better than that.


In the room that day at the parish were both Judy and Kim. They had yards of gorgeous material in front of them, and they were piecing together a chasuble. Judy was teaching Kim how to put it all together. Judy’s son had been a priest for years, and she has been making vestments for him. Now, she was showing another mom of a priest how to do the same for her son.


It was just the two of them. They were seeking no attention from anyone else; it was just two moms, one was helping the other. And, if I know Judy, she will offer more than just sewing help to Kim over the years. It seems that being a mom of a priest carries both a special gift and a special cross, and Judy is ready to help the new moms.


Perhaps you have known for sometime that the word chasuble means love. Each piece of a priest’s vestments means something different, and over all of them he puts on love. But there are days when you realize that there is love in every single stitch of the chasuble, and those are the best days.

Showing 3 comments
  • Gwen Malm

    This is just BEAUTIFUL!!!!! What a wonderful thing for these two mothers to do, and thank you Alyssa for writing this article! I learned so much. I’ve been a lifelong Catholic, and did not know that each piece of a priest’s vestment meant something different. In my mind’s eye, I can see Judy and Kim sewing in that little room and hear what wonderful conversations they are probably having about when their son’s were little boys, now priests! THANK YOU, all three of my sisters in Christ!!!

  • Judy Cozzens

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I may be the mother of a priest, but I did not know the word chasuble meant love. What a beautiful picture; our sons putting on their chasubles made with the love of their mothers. Thank you for this sharing. Being the mother of a priest is beautiful. I pray that many mothers will encourage their sons and daughters to take time to discern what God wants them to do with their life. Young people should not be afraid to try the seminary or convent life. I believe we should tell our children, we will celebrate if they go and try religious life. If they decide it is not right for them, we will celebrate that they took the time to discern.

    • Alyssa Bormes

      Judy, You are amazing! Thank you so much for your kind words – for your love – your leadership – and your tireless work in promoting vocations. I am humbled to call you friend!

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