Hello! I am Father Alan Guanella (with a preference of being called Father Guanella) and I am your new pastor. I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you all. I was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin to Greg and Carol Guanella (both enjoying retirement and often visiting me) and attended high school at Aquinas High School in La Crosse. After high school, I attended Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona, Minnesota and Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, also in Winona. I graduated from Saint Mary’s with a B.A. in philosophy with minors in history and theology.
I was sent by then-Bishop Jerome Listecki to the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy to continue my seminary studies. I attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome where I graduated with a Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) in 2012 and a Diploma in Pastoral Theology in 2013. I was ordained a deacon at Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on October 4, 2012 by Archbishop John Myers of Newark, NJ.
Upon completion of my seminary studies, I was ordained a priest for the Diocese of La Crosse on June 22, 2013 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman in La Crosse. My first assignment was as parochial vicar (associate pastor) of St. James the Greater Parish in Eau Claire and chaplain at Regis Middle and High Schools in Eau Claire. In 2014, I was moved to be parochial vicar of St. Mary’s Parish in Altoona and St. Raymond of Peñafort Parish in Brackett, while continuing as chaplain at Regis.
In 2016, Bishop Callahan asked me to study Canon Law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. I began studies there in Summer 2016 while continuing in the parishes and at Regis. I was able to move to Washington in May of 2017 and study full-time. At the end of July 2019, I finished the Licentiate in Canon Law (J.C.L.) and became a canon lawyer or canonist. I was then assigned to be pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Polonia and St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in Custer. And now I have been assigned to be pastor here at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish. I am excited to begin my pastorate here and meet many of you. I’ll write more about myself in the coming bulletins. God bless you!