Inspiration and expression

This article was posted on: July 11, 2023

“Called by Jesus Christ to ‘Seek first the Kingdom of God,’ we are the Diocese of La Crosse: a sacramental people who worship God, teach the Catholic Faith and serve the needs of the human person.”

These few words formed the simple statement of the Diocese of La Crosse’s basic focus and our ability to live the authentic attitude of the Catholic Faith. This same statement of purpose and effort guided us towards establishing goals, opportunities and intentions in articulating divine teaching in our secular post-modern society. In 2019, we celebrated 150 years of faith, service, Catholic education and ministry in the Diocese of La Crosse. We began feasibility studies with various groups to plan and organize for next 150 years so that, with God’s grace, we might accomplish this mission for the Glory of the Church. 

Thus, we began a campaign for our future called Inspired by the Spirit. As we begin to put into action the generosity of so many, it comes to me, in humility and love, as your Bishop, to say thank you. Thank you, my dear brother priests. Thank you, diocesan leadership and thank you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you to everyone throughout the diocese, who together raised more than $40 million, safeguarding the future of our beloved diocese. This campaign would not have come this far without your shared hard work and sacrifices. I am humbled by your efforts and inspired by your success. God reward you! 

Yet, there is much left to do. 

Guided by the Holy Spirit, our path forward is marked by service, faith and fidelity. The tangible investment in our parishes, our diocese and each other yields more than physical results. Your generosity and leadership will powerfully advance our ability to further put into action the great commission. I see so many ways that the Holy Spirit is inspiring us and preparing us for the new things He has in store for this great diocese. 

This pouring out of the Holy Spirit will strengthen the bonds of our relationships, ignite our ability to evangelize and minister, and fortify our places of worship and service. And this grace will be felt across our parishes, schools, charities, convents and homes. Wherever we gather, from family farms to our magnificent cathedral, this investment enriches our faith in those spaces. 

While none of us remain in this earthly realm long compared to the eternal joy spent with our Father in heaven, I am greatly heartened by the knowledge that these seeds you planted will bear fruit far beyond my time as your bishop and our time together. 

As always, I promise to you my prayers and support however I may be of service to you. I know God’s great and Holy Spirit will continue to bless and inspire you, now and in the future. Thank you! 

Please join me in praying for the good, realized together, that is before us.

Eternal Father, Your Holy Spirit breathes life and gives beauty to all Your creatures, and forms us in Your image.

Jesus, as You promised, You send Your Spirit upon Your Church to embolden us always to carry out Your mission.

Holy Spirit, poured out as love itself, we turn to You; inspire us!

You who strengthened the faith of those in every generation before us, inspire us today to be courageous in our belief.

You who will remain always with us, inspire us now to share what we have received for our present good and for the good of those yet to come.


Through the intercession of our Holy and Immaculate Mother, our dear and venerable Patrons, Joseph and Francis of Assisi, may Almighty God bless the works of your hands, minds, and hearts. May your families know peace and success.

Most Reverend William Patrick Callahan
Diocese of La Crosse
Published in the July/August 2023 issue of Catholic Life Magazine

More from Bishop Callahan
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