The Most Reverend
William Patrick Callahan
The Most Reverend William Patrick
Callahan, OFM. Conv., born June 17, 1950, is a Conventual
Franciscan* of the St. Bonaventure Province in Chicago. A
Chicago native, he attended St. Mary Minor Seminary in
Crystal Lake, Ill., and studied at Junior College, Chicago,
before being accepted in the Novitiate of St. Bonaventure at
Lake Forest, Ill., where he continued his formation from
1969 to 1970. From 1970 to 1973, he studied at Loyola
University, Chicago, earning a bachelor's degree in Radio
and Television Communications. He earned his master's of
divinity degree from St. Michael's College at the University
of Toronto in 1976.
Bishop Callahan was ordained to the
priesthood on April 30, 1977, by Milwaukee Archbishop
William E. Cousins. His first priestly assignment was as
associate pastor of the Basilica of St. Josaphat Parish,
Milwaukee, from 1977 to 1978. Bishop Callahan then served as
the director of vocations for the Conventual Franciscans
from 1978 to 1984; as associate pastor of Holy Family
Parish, Peoria, Ill., from 1984 to 1987; and as pastor of
Holy Family Parish, Peoria, from 1987-1994.
In 1994, Bishop Callahan returned to
Milwaukee and the St. Josaphat congregation. He served as
rector and pastor of St. Josaphat Parish until 2005. At that
time, he left the parish and went to serve as spiritual
director for the Pontifical North American College, the
seminary for Americans, Rome, until December 14, 2007.
Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Callahan an
auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on October
30, 2007. He was the first Conventual Franciscan to be named
a bishop in the United States. As an auxiliary bishop,
Bishop Callahan serves the Church by helping the diocesan
bishop in the pastoral and spiritual leadership of a
diocese, and by assisting the diocesan bishop in his role as
shepherd – through teaching, leading, serving and
celebrating the sacraments with the people of the diocese.
On April 20, 2009, the College of
Consultors elected him to serve as the administrator of the
Archdiocese of Milwaukee until then Archbishop-designate
Listecki was installed as Archbishop of Milwaukee on January
4, 2010. On June 11, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI named him as
the Tenth Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse.
The youngest of four children, Callahan
has two older sisters and one older brother. His parents,
Ellen and William Callahan, are deceased.