WEAU13 interviews Bp Callahan of La Crosse on priesthood, wants to almost double seminarians by 2020

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU)-- "I'm probably one of the most optimistic bishop's you'll ever meet."

That's what the head of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of La Crosse says despite a steady decline in the number of priests. The Diocese reports having 215 priests in 1980, now that figure is less than 180. As Bishop William Callahan recently told us, turning that around takes more than just men looking for "A Higher Calling."
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"These guys understand they're not coming out to be social workers, but are coming out as men touched by Jesus Christ, for them that makes all the difference in the world," Callahan says.

A handful of bishops around the world have pushed for the ordination of married men to solve the problem. But Bishop Callahan doesn't think that would work in the U.S.
full Part 1
Bishop William Callahan of the Dicocese of La Crosse says the celibacy requirement, an aging priesthood, Catholic families with fewer children, even recent cases of sexual abuse in the church are contributing factors. Still, Bishop Callahan is hopeful that 50-seminarians - men studying to become priests – will enter the diocese by 2020.

There are currently 29 seminarians in the Diocese of La Crosse, Father Meuret says it's through prayer that these young men will be able to discern God's calling.
full Part 2

Comments

  1. The screen shot for the "Part II" of the report is so typical of Catholic parish life in the US. Casually dressed "Eucharistic Minister" who's probably 16, sanctuary looks like it's been gutted, choir standing inside it. Sad.

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    1. You should probably have watched the segment before you commented. The "Eucharistic Minister" is Isaac Wolfe who graduated from Regis High School in Eau Claire last spring and will be one of our new seminarians at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (college level) next year. I'm sure that his dress will improve as he makes his way through priestly formation over the next 8 years. While I don't care for the musicians in the front of the church, that is Immaculate Conception Parish and the sanctuary wasn't "gutted", that's the way it was built back in the 1950's. The date might be off a touch but it is post WWII. Immaculate Conception is the largest parish in Eau Claire and Fr. Mueret is only her third pastor.

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  2. Yes, that will inspire no one. The bland approach does not inspire.

    Bishop Callahan is certainly not a Morlino or Burke. I can only say, good luck!

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  3. Callahan at least recognizes aspects of liberal Catholicism which are not compatible with an increase in vocations, like the secular humanitarianism that cripples liberal dioceses. Would you feel better if he endured a married clergy as the solution??

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  4. "a higher calling"...this will appeal to those like many of those younger priests these days who give ample evidence of a strong clericalism...and attitude epitomized by the saying "I AM, you are not...you shut up". (I am ordained, I have received an ontological change through ordination, I am special and you are not). Therefore I dress in lace and brochade; I think I should use a language (latin) you don't know (either do I); I want a barrier between you and me (communion rail); I do it, you are just there, so I turn my back to you; etc. etc.

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    1. The most clericalist priests I've ever encountered have been quite liberal ones, I'm afraid. Oh, the horror stories I could share....

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    2. Describing a ton of older progressive/modernist priests there, not too many orthodox young priests fit that description - thankfully there aren't that many young progressive priests - who wants to devote their lives to a question mark

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  5. I hope that Bishop Callahan looks to the Diocese of Lincoln (or Madison) to see what has inspired young men to the vocation of priesthood and works to replicate that here in the Diocese of LaCrosse. I think he will find it will be fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church, solid, reverent liturgies and showing, though his actions, that he truly cares about his priests.

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    1. Seriously? La Crosse has been ahead of Madison since the time of Cardinal Burke; and we still are: we have more seminarians per capita than Madison still. Madison has only just caught up to what La Crosse has been doing for almost 20 years. Don't get me wrong, I'm overjoyed for Madison's good fortune (due to some very hard work!), but don't think that La Crosse is some country bumpkin struggling to catch up with the "big boys". I wish we could replicate what has been done in Lincoln for the last 20+ years, but we are currently in the best position of any diocese in the state.

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