Former Peoria pastor named bishop of La Crosse, Wis.

WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI has named Milwaukee Auxiliary Bishop William P. Callahan, OFM, Conv., 59, as Bishop of La Crosse, Wis.

The announcement was made in Washington, June 11, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Callahan served at Holy Family Parish in Peoria from 1984 to 1994, first as associate pastor and then for seven years as pastor.

Bishop Callahan succeeds Bishop Jerome Listecki, who was named Archbishop of Milwaukee last November. Bishop Callahan has been an auxiliary bishop since 2007.

William Callahan was born June 17, 1950, in Chicago. He attended St. Mary Minor Seminary in Crystal Lake, 1964-1968, and Junior College, City of Chicago, 1968-1969. He continued his education at the Chicago Franciscans’ St. Bonaventure Novitiate, Lake Forest, 1969-1970; Loyola University, Chicago, 1970-1973; and St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, 1973-1976.

He was ordained a priest with the Conventual Franciscans on April 30, 1977.

After ordination, he was assigned as associate pastor, Basilica of St. Josaphat, Milwaukee, 1977-78; Director of Vocations, Conventual Franciscans, St. Bonaventure Province, Chicago, 1978-1984; associate pastor, Holy Family Parish, Peoria, 1984-1987; and pastor of Holy Family, 1987-1994. He served as rector and pastor, St. Josephat Basilica, 1994-2005.

In 2005, he was appointed spiritual director at North American College, a position he held until named an auxiliary bishop in 2007.

The La Crosse diocese includes 849,626 people, of whom 23 percent, or 196,642, are Catholic.

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