Bishop-elect Callahan, 57 (born June 17, 1950), is a Conventual Franciscan of the St. Bonaventure Province in Chicago. A native of Chicago, Callahan has served in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as associate pastor of the Basilica of St. Josaphat Parish, from 1977 to 1978, and, again, as rector and pastor of St. Josaphat Parish, from 1994 to 2005. Callahan left the parish in 2005 and currently serves as Spiritual Director for the Pontifical North American College, the seminary for Americans, in Rome.
“I was humbled by the news from the Holy Father,” Callahan said. “My only desire is to serve the Church and I am honored to be asked to do so as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. It is already home for me and I am eager to get to know more of the priests and people of this great archdiocese and for them to know me.”
“The fact that he is from a religious order affirms the strong tradition and presence of religious orders in southeastern Wisconsin,” Archbishop Dolan said. “The service of men and men religious are an essential part of our Church in southeastern Wisconsin.”
Callahan was ordained to the priesthood on April 30, 1977, by Milwaukee Archbishop William E. Cousins. In addition to serving as associate pastor of St. Josaphat, Callahan served as the Director of Vocations for the Conventual Franciscans, from 1978 to 1984; as Associate Pastor of Holy Family Parish in Peoria, Ill., from 1984 to 1987; and as Pastor of Holy Family Parish in Peoria, from 1994 to 2005.
He attended St. Mary Minor Seminary in Crystal Lake, Ill, and studied at Junior College in Chicago, before being accepted in the Novitiate of St. Bonaventure at Lake Forest, Ill., where he continued his formation from 1969 to 1970. From 1970 to 1973, he studied at Loyola University in Chicago, earning a bachelor’s degree in Radio and Television Communications. He earned his Master’s of Divinity degree from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto in 1976.
The youngest of four children, Callahan has two older sisters and one older brother. His parents, Ellen and William Callahan, are deceased.
The religious order of Conventuals are members of the Franciscan Order, who were granted approval from the Church in 1223 and possess and use property in common. They are commonly called Black Franciscans because of the black friar habits they wear.
Key point: A Franciscan, he is presently a Spiritual Director at the NAC. (Archbishop Dolan was, of course, Rector of the NAC from 1994-2001
Another key point: from 1994-2005, he was Rector of the Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee .