La Crosse, Wis., bishop resigns for health reasons;
Detroit auxiliary named successor

Pope Francis greets Bishop William P. Callahan of La Crosse, Wis., during a meeting with U.S. bishops from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin making their "ad limina" visits to the Vatican Dec. 12, 2019.(CNS photo/Vatican Media)

WASHINGTON (OSV News) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop William P. Callahan, 73, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, for health reasons, and has appointed Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Gerard W. Battersby as his successor.

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington March 19 by Cardinal Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Battersby, a Detroit native, was named a Detroit auxiliary Nov. 23, 2016, and ordained a bishop Jan. 25, 2017. He will be installed as the 11th bishop of La Crosse May 20 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman.

Bishop Callahan has headed the west-central Wisconsin diocese for 14 years. He is two years shy of the age canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the pope.

The Diocese of La Crosse covers just over 15,000 square miles and has 135,268 Catholics out of a total population of about 875,000.


Scroll to Top