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Battersby installed as newest bishop for Diocese of La Crosse

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A new bishop was installed during a two-hour mass on May 20, 2024, at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral in La Crosse (PHOTO: Brad Williams).

It was an event that doesn’t happen often at La Crosse’s cathedral — the installation of a new Catholic bishop.

Battersby is the 11th bishop of the La Crosse Diocese (PHOTO: Diocese of La Crosse)

Monday, Gerard Battersby was installed as only the 11th bishop since the founding of the Diocese of La Crosse.

Battersby was an auxiliary bishop in Detroit when he received the call from the Vatican in March to succeed retiring La Crosse Bishop William Callahan, who had led the diocese since 2010.

Callahan stepped down after 14 years due to health concerns.

A formal part of the installation ritual involved a former La Crosse bishop, Jerome Listecki, who’s now the Archbishop of Milwaukee.

Another past bishop of La Crosse, Cardinal Raymond Burke, also joined dozens of visiting clergy members from around the U.S. at the ceremony.

A local congregation, plus clergy from around the U.S. joined mass at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral.

A La Crosse ceremony to install a new bishop on May 20, 2024, drew bishops and cardinals from throughout the country (PHOTO: Brad Williams).

“Thank you for being here on behalf of the priests and the people of La Crosse,” Battersby said. “We are honored by your presence, and I am grateful beyond mere words.”

The new bishop told the congregation that the ceremony was not about him, but rather, about Jesus.

“It’s about the high Priest, and His priestly people, who are called from darkness to light, from futility to purpose,” Battersby said.

Battersby urged worshipers to “let your heart be an altar,” and had some humorous remarks, claiming “I’ve never met a microphone I didn’t like.”

Bishops from across the U.S. gather outside St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral as La Crosse installed a new bishop on May 20, 2024 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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