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PRAIRIE DU CHIEN — The Diocese of La Crosse will launch a series of sesquicentennial celebrations Saturday at St. Gabriel Church at 506 N. Beaumont Road in Prairie du Chien.

Bishop William Callahan mug


Bishop William Callahan, the diocese’s 10th bishop, will celebrate Mass at 10 a.m. to commemorate the founding on March 3, 1868, with a reception following.

St. Gabriel, the oldest active church in the diocese, at one time was in the running to become the cathedral church for what now is a 19-county diocese.

The Vatican ultimately chose La Crosse to be the see city for the diocese.

Noting that “150 years cover a lot of history and so much evangelization — telling the good news,” Callahan said, adding, “We’ve done that very well during our first 150 years, and we should all share a bit of the glory that comes with it.”

The Mass will be live-streamed on the diocese’s website.

Other celebrations and Masses are planned for St. Mary’s Ridge, Rudolph, Wisconsin Rapids, Camp Douglas, Tomah, Wausau, Mosinee, Rothschild, Marshfield, Stratford, Hewitt, Loyal, Abbotsford, Chippewa Falls, Arcadia and La Crosse.

A complete list of events also is on the diocese’s web site,, which also will list other possible events as they are added.

The tentative wrap-up to the sesquicentennial celebrations is scheduled to be a Mass from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Cathedral of St Joseph the Workman at 530 Main St. in La Crosse, with a reception from 10:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the La Crosse Center at 300 Harborview Plaza.

Also marking the sesquicentennial year is a specially produced coffee-table-style hardcover book of 464 pages detailing the diocese’s 150 years in pictures, firsthand accounts and vignettes about every parish in the diocese.

The book is available at parishes and in the Diocesan Store at its web site.



Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

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