Father Scott Wallisch (Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas '10) St. Joseph Catholic Church, Shawnee, KS
Submitted by: Elaine Casperson
Father Scott Wallisch has done everything humanly possible to keep St Joseph's Parish in Shawnee connected as a family since the pandemic started. He organized the live streaming of daily masses from the chapel right away with the help of Father Justin Hamilton and Monsignor Michael Mullen. Live streaming was also provided and archived for the priests' daily Rosary, Monsignor's Holy desserts , Father Scott's daily reflections and Rectory Game night on Fridays.
No matter where you lived or when you watched, you could always feel like a part of St. Joseph's.
When it was possible to gather in cars in the parking lot, Father Scott developed the most amazing and intricate, well-thought-out plan to keep cars distanced safely, digitally or radio-connected, and to distribute the Holy Eucharist sacredly and safely. It was so well organized and executed--even with video presentations to explain how and where to park, how to receive Holy Communion and how to exit the parking lot. He made it possible for parishioners to go to confession in their cars, with priests in their own cars. That is still ongoing.
When things progressed that people could return to the church, Father Scott figured the measuring and taping of the pews with the correct protocol. An online reservation system was developed as well as call in for those without Internet. The process of attending Mass was strictly directed and followed. He gave clear instructions on how to receive the host with masks on. No stone was left unturned!! As soon as it was possible, he celebrated two First Communion Masses with the students. Then he was able to organize Confirmation with Archbishop Naumann on two different nights. Father Scott does all this willingly because he loves being a father to his parishioners. He is so grateful to be their pastor and he is so well-loved in return.
I can say that Father Scott has single-handedly kept me going through this pandemic. I am alone, a widow and with no family I can visit. My daughter lives in BC but the border is closed. You see, I take part in all of these things from Lynden, WA. I now watch at least two Masses a day, say the Rosary daily and spend so much more time in prayer. His homilies along with those of the other priests are so uplifting. He knows the Holy Land because he's been there. He is such an amazing teacher! He is so knowledgeable about the Bible and also the traditions of the Church. He takes you on our Lord's journey in such a profound way. He has a true knowledge and devotion to the saints and in a very special way to our Mother Mary. He is so humble and very holy. He does all with a sense of who he is, not the least bit pompous and also with a sense of humor. I have shared Father Scott and St Joseph's with friends in California who also watch daily. I have learned so much from him and I am eternally grateful.
I really don't see how anyone would be able to do more than Father Scott Wallisch! He did all of the above in addition to being in charge of a large parish and school. He still anointed the sick and counseled those in need. When it was permitted, he performed funerals and weddings. He did marriage prep. Since he is an advisor to the seminarians, he went on retreat with them but came back each night to say morning Mass. He gives more than his 100% all the time with energy and love. He is simply an amazing and wonderful priest. We have been truly blessed by him.
I first became aware of Father Scott as he was featured as a Mundelein grad and said the Divine Mercy Chaplet during Lent. I heard of Mundelein because at my local church, we had a wonderful seminarian from Mundelein doing a summer internship in Bellingham. God Bless Mundelein for preparing parish priests!