Monthly Archives: April 2019

Welcome Bishop Hying!

I ask the faithful of our diocese to rejoice and offer prayers of thanksgiving, in solidarity with those in the Diocese of Madison, at the joyful news of the appointment by Pope Francis of Bishop Hying of Gary as the fifth bishop for the Diocese of Madison.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Bishop Hying for a number of years, beginning with our ministries together as pastors of parishes in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Bishop Hying is a good friend and a dear brother. I give thanks to His Holiness for sending such a wonderful Shepherd to the faithful of the capitol city of our state and a wonderful partner to the bishops of Wisconsin.

Read more about Bishop Hying.

I’ll see you at Sunday Mass!

Hope in the Resurrection

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Blessed and joyful Easter Greetings to one and all. I hope you have had an opportunity to get out into the beautiful gift of new life that is spring in our beloved Diocese.

On Easter Sunday, as I was sprinkling the gathered assembly with Holy Water in the customary renewal of Baptismal promises, a man passed off a note to me, seeming to remind me that I had missed the opportunity to remind everyone of the tragic and violent attacks in Sri Lanka earlier Easter morning. I appreciated the note and passed it off to my Master of Ceremonies for inclusion in the Prayers of the Faithful, where I had intended to include that intention.

Evil has been undone by the Resurrection of Jesus. Unfortunately, we are still prone to temptation and seduction by the evil one. Those who have carried out these vicious attacks bear witness to such evil. Such evil, however, cannot (and certainly MUST not) overcome the hope that is found for all people in our Blessed Savior’s Resurrection. We offer prayers for the victims (of all faiths) and join with all people of good will in condemning these acts of terrorism.

Jesus Christ is the Lord of Life; in Him there is no death.

God be with you.

your Bishop

Easter Greeting

Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her, ablaze with light from her eternal King, let all corners of the earth be glad, knowing an end to gloom and darkness.

Hi everybody, Bishop Callahan here. Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

The eternal King has shown His glory; Christ has risen from the dead. Just imagine what it must have been like for the first witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection. When we hear the accounts of his Resurrection this Easter Season, try to listen with new ears and be ready to get caught up with the same excitement of the first witnesses. Are we any less amazed, less confused, or less confident to tell others of what we know to be true?

Today we too give witness to Christ’s Resurrection. We remind ourselves, as the early witnesses did, that Jesus promised to be with us until the end of time.

There are many people who join the Church at the Easter Vigil. There are many more whose Faith is strengthened by the Easter celebrations. Consider recommitting yourself this Easter Season to spread the Good News.

You will notice that Holy Water is used during the Easter Masses. This sprinkling is to remind us of our particular Baptism, and the life of grace to which we are called. Water, so simple and pure, so common made Holy to cleanse us from our sins and give refreshment to our souls.

This Easter Season, let your joy radiate in your life. Give witness to the stupendous act of love by Jesus Christ.

Blessed Easter to you – and I’ll see you at Sunday Mass!


Every year since my arrival in 2010, I have failed to get a message out to all of you, dear brothers and sisters, concerning the significance of Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum. I am trying to rectify that situation today by sending some thoughts to deepen your awareness and appreciation for the holiest time of the year in our life of Divine Grace.

Holy Week begins with Passion (Palm) Sunday. The Passion of Our Blessed Lord is read from one of the Synoptic Gospels (this year we hear from Luke’s Gospel). The Passion is sung or proclaimed chorally from John’s Gospel on Good Friday each year.

The pious custom of our Holy Church finds us gathered mid-week (we have settled for Tuesday) to celebrate the Chrism Mass. The Tradition usually sets this Mass for the morning of Holy Thursday since it marks the institution of the Priesthood by our Blessed Lord. As so many things in our lives have been marked by expediency, we in the Diocese of La Crosse have set Tuesday of Holy Week as our day to celebrate fully and totally the gift of the priesthood. The Chrism Mass unites the entire Presbyterate, Diaconate, and complete Faithful of Christ’s Mystical Body with the Bishop at one place, the Diocesan Cathedral, the Mother Church of the Diocese. Gathered around one altar and as one believing community, we celebrate the unity and institution of the priesthood, the Consecration of the Sacred Chrism (used at all Baptisms, Confirmations, and Priestly Ordinations in the Diocese for the coming year), priestly recommitment to their promise of obedience to the Diocesan Bishop, and the unity of the Diocesan and Universal Church with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The Chrism Mass is the highlight of Diocesan life in union with the universal Church. It is a must for all Catholics to attend at least once in their lives. With that being said, I should point out that none of the ceremonies of Holy Week: Chrism Mass, Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Thursday), Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday), Solemn Easter Vigil (Saturday before Easter), are obligatory—that is, you are not obliged to participate as you are on Sundays or Holy Days of obligation. Again, I heartily invite you to attend and participate in the full celebration of the Holy Week services at least once in your life.

Easter—the Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord—marks the central mystery of our faith. We commemorate the Resurrection and reaffirm our faith each and every Sunday. So, I wish you the depths of God’s Grace for Holy Week and the Abundant Blessings of Easter—I’ll see you at Sunday Mass!