Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In Beer City, Callahan Fits the Bill

With things Gotham dominating the radar screen these days, it's worth noting that the other shoe's dropped back in Milwaukee, where Auxiliary Bishop William Callahan (above right) was elected as archdiocesan administrator late yesterday.

No, Dolan wasn't present. At least, not physically.

The first Conventual Franciscan ever given the high-hat on these shores, the 58 year-old Chicago native is a veteran of the Brewerville church; "Fr Bill" pastored the Basilica of St Josaphat for eleven years, leading the restoration of the Romanesque masterpiece before serving as a spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College from 2005 until his appointment as auxiliary to Archbishop Tim in 2007.

On his return to Wisconsin, the beloved gentleman cleric was named Milwaukee's vicar-general and moderator of the curia with a broad brief to oversee the archdiocesan operations for his now-former boss, whose distaste for deskwork and ledgers was never any secret. The first auxiliary given the 700,000-member archdiocese since the late '70s, Callahan is a close confidant to the newly-installed archbishop of New York; on his rollout as his top aide, a glowing Dolan made little effort to hide that the Pope's pick was his first choice.

While no shortage of speculation's already abounded on the choice of the Beer City's next archbishop, it's worth noting that the prior incumbent's hinted at his hope for a successor who'll "see home" the work he begun in Packers' Country since his departure was announced.

Considering Pope Benedict's tendency to honor the wishes of his top-level appointees in naming their replacements....

Suffice it to say, 'nuff said.

In an interview after his election, Callahan said he hoped the wait for a new ordinary would run "six to eight months," adding that "there's never any telling just how that's going to work."

"These things move at their own rate at the Vatican," he said.

Indeed, they do.

As always, stay tuned.

PHOTO: Archdiocese of Milwaukee