Bishop Gerard Battersby Named to Lead Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Gerard Battersby, 63 (photo), to be the eleventh bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Diocese of La Crosse encompasses 19 counties in west-central Wisconsin and has a Catholic population of 135,000 and a total population of 875,000. Bishop Battersby, currently serving as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit, will be installed on Monday, May 20, 2024, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman in La Crosse. He will succeed Bishop William Callahan, O.F.M. Conv. Bishop Battersby will be introduced to the Diocese of La Crosse at a press conference at 10:30 a.m. CDT (11:30 a.m. EDT) on the Diocese of La Crosse’s YouTube channel.

“It is with joy that I received the news that the Holy Father had named me the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin,” Bishop Battersby said. “When I was baptized, ordained a priest, and consecrated a bishop, I received a call within a call, an invitation to follow. The Risen One has bid me to follow him to western Wisconsin, to the banks of the Mighty Mississippi. I leave with hope and anticipatory joy.”

Bishop Battersby was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 30, 1998. Prior to his January 25, 2017 consecration as a bishop, Bishop Battersby served as Vice-Rector and Dean of Seminarian Formation at Sacred Heart Major Seminary from 2011–2017; Director of Graduate Seminarians at Sacred Heart Major Seminary from 2007–2008; pastor of St. Mary of Redford Parish, Detroit from 2015–2017; Administrator of St. Leo Parish, Detroit from 2007–2008; pastor of St. Christopher Parish, Detroit from 2002–2007; parochial vicar of Presentation/Our Lady of Victory Parish, Detroit from 2000–2002; parochial vicar of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 2000–2002; parochial vicar of St. Gerard Parish, Detroit from 2000–2002; and parochial vicar of St. Thecla Parish, Clinton Township from 1998–2000.

“The Archdiocese of Detroit has been blessed by the gift of Bishop Battersby’s ministry, nearly 26 years of dedicated service as priest, faculty member at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and auxiliary bishop. Like a truly joyful, missionary disciple, he has always faithfully answered the call to go forth in new ways to share the Good News of Christ,” Archbishop Vigneron said. “As his bishop and brother priest, I am particularly grateful for his contributions to the Archdiocese’s Synod 16 and for his support of its fruit, our mission to unleash the Gospel.

“The gift of Bishop Battersby’s ministry now goes to the people of La Crosse. The priests, religious, and faithful of Detroit send him there with our heartfelt prayers of gratitude.”

Bishop Battersby graduated from Wayne State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He entered Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 1993 and received a Master of Divinity Degree in 1998. In 2009, he was assigned to graduate studies at the University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome. He also earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) in the New Evangelization from the Angelicum through its partnership with Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

In accepting his new appointment, Bishop Battersby also reflected on his deep love and gratitude for the Archdiocese of Detroit and its people.

“As the Psalmist said of Jerusalem, I say of my hometown of Detroit and the Archdiocese of Detroit: I love her very stones. I am grateful for the training I received as a man, a priest, and a bishop in her precincts; I am thankful to all of you for your part in forming me. You will remain in my heart. Please keep me in your prayers as I begin this new phase of mission; you know you will be in mine. Know that while I may don the shades of green and yellow, Honolulu Blue will always be my color

“Wherever He bids us to follow him, let us remember our foundational truths, which gird our understanding and make firm our path: He is Risen, He is Lord, and we are His witnesses.”