by Kara Hansen
The archdiocese concluded the Year of the Priest in the best possible way: by ordaining a new priest.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann ordained Father Scott Wallisch at 10:30 a.m. on May 29 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Kansas City, Kan. He is the only priest the archdiocese will ordain this year. Archbishop Naumann was the main celebrant, homilist, and ordaining minister. In his homily, he noted something he shared with Father Wallisch.
“Scott and I share our St. Louis roots in common,” Archbishop Naumann said during his homily. “Living in northeast Kansas shows us you can be a Jayhawk and a Cardinal fan.”
Father Wallisch studied at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and was involved at the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center there. After beginning his professional career, Father Wallisch discerned a different vocation and became a seminarian for the archdiocese.
Although Father Wallisch’s previous background was in engineering and architecture, he is bringing many other gifts to his priestly ministry, noted the archbishop.
“One of the gifts Scott brings to us is the ability to sign,” said Archbishop Naumann. “He will be able to make more available the sacraments to those who have hearing impairments.”
Archbishop Naumann thanked Father Wallisch’s parents, who were present for the ordination, for teaching and modeling the Catholic faith for him as well as their other children.
“We’re really grateful to Bill and Betty Wallisch . . . for making the Catholic faith something lived so beautifully in your family life,” he said.
Archbishop Naumann also took the opportunity to give Father Wallisch a few words of advice from his own years of priestly experience.
“Allow Jesus to continue to use you,” he said. “Embrace the opportunity to sacrifice yourself as a means of bringing that love first unleashed on the cross at Calvary.”
Monsignor Michael Mullen, co-director of seminarians for the archdiocese, formally presented Father Wallisch to Archbishop Naumann and vouched for his readiness for ordination to the priesthood. Lengthy applause followed by the standing-room-only crowd.
After Father Wallisch declared his commitment to carry out the office of priesthood, he lay prostrate as the congregation sang the Litany of the Saints.
Then, Archbishop Naumann conferred the priesthood upon Father Wallisch by the ancient rite of the laying on of hands, after which each of the priests present in turn prayed over the newly ordained priest.
Father Wallisch was then vested with a stole and chasuble. Archbishop Naumann anointed his hands with sacred chrism. Bill and Betty Wallisch brought forward a chalice and paten, which were presented to Father Wallisch.
After Father Wallisch was welcomed into the priesthood, he joined Archbishop Naumann at the altar to concelebrate Mass.
After Communion, Archbishop Naumann received the first blessing from Father Wallisch. The Mass was followed by a luncheon.
Father Wallisch’s first assignment will be as parochial vicar of St. Joseph Parish, Shawnee. He will also serve as chaplain at St. James Academy, Lenexa.