This morning, Pope Benedict appointed Conventual Franciscan Friar Fr William Callahan, 57, as auxiliary bishop for the Wisconsin flock of 675,000. Known as "Black" Franciscans due to the color of their habit, Callahan is the first Conventual Friar to ever be raised to the episcopacy in the United States.
A native of Chicago and, since 2005, spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, the bishop-elect is an adopted son of Milwaukee, where he served two tours at the see city's Basilica of St Josaphat, the site of his 1977 priestly ordination.
Well-loved both by the Milwaukeeans and the Gianicolo crowd -- and known to enjoy Dolan's particular trust and esteem -- the appointee is preceded by a sterling reputation; as one of Callahan's friends once summed up the bishop-elect, "I don't know anyone who loves being a priest more than Bill."
At the legendary Polish masterpiece on the city's south side, where he became the first non-Pole to serve as its rector-pastor in 1994, Callahan oversaw the $7.5 million restoration of the grand 1901 edifice, Milwaukee's largest church. A preservationist by nature, as a rookie curate at the basilica the bishop-to-be hid one of its original lamps (first used in Chicago's 19th century Main Post Office) in its attic. Returning as pastor, he returned to to find that the lamp had remained untouched since his prior encounter with it. The antique fixture was subsequently cloned, and the replicas re-adorn the basilica's walls.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Newly-appointed Bp. William Patrick Callahan
~via Rocco (sorry, I'm too lazy to translate the Italian right now...need another pot of coffee)