Special Issue - World Youth Day

Father Wallisch keeps pilgrims’ eyes on the prize

by Katie Hyde
Special to The Leaven

If the brief layover in the hectic Newark, New Jersey, airport taught the pilgrims anything, it was that they needed to get creative in order to celebrate their faith on the road.

Using wine secured by a seminarian whom the pilgrims were careful not to question too closely, the archdiocesan World Youth Day delegation found a moment of peace in which to celebrate Mass.

“This is the whole reason we’re [going to Poland],” said celebrant Father Scott Wallisch, vocation director for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, referring to the eucharistic celebration.

According to Father Wallisch, this was not the first time he celebrated Mass on the road.

He recalled in his homily the time he said Mass inside an airport terminal in Dubai. It’s important, he reminded the pilgrims, to take time to reflect and thank God.

Especially amid the chaos of an airport.

“Take time to remind yourself why you’re doing this,” said Father Wallisch. “Why are you going on this crazy journey?”

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Katie Hyde

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