The La Crosse diocese is beginning a campaign to have a priest who served in central Wisconsin and South America for more than five decades declared a saint.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse kicked off its campaign for Father Joe Walijewski on Wednesday. If canonized, Walijewski would become the fourth saint born in the U.S. and the 11th from North America.
A panel of priests and lay people will investigate Walijewski's life, interviewing witnesses and collecting documents that will be sent to Rome for consideration.
The Stevens Point Journal reported Thursday (http://spjour.nl/YgR3lQ ) that Walijewski founded an orphanage in Peru and parishes in Bolivia to help the poor. He also served in multiple central Wisconsin parishes.
Walijewski died in 2006 at the age of 82.