La Crosse’s Catholic bishop, an immigrant from Vietnam and a local dentist were given one of Viterbo University’s highest honors in La Crosse on Wednesday.
Bishop William Callahan, community volunteer Anh Pham, and dentist Dr. Joe Kotnour received the Saint John XXIII medals during the annual award banquet at the Fine Arts Center.
Callahan has served as bishop of the La Crosse Diocese for 13 years. He told the audience that there is growth in the Catholic Church and that it is not a museum just to be guarded.
Kotnour is a Viterbo graduate, who is recognized for offering free- or low-cost dental care to members of the community.
Pham and her family came to the U.S. from Vietnam in the 1970s, with her husband The and their children. She and The have been custodians for the diocese and for Mid-West Family in La Crosse.
Viterbo’s award, named for Pope John XXIII, recognizes people, including celebrities on occasion, who have made contributions in areas such as religious life, business or peace and justice.