Take 5 with Father: a light on campus
He is: Father Kyle Walterscheid, pastor of St. John Paul II University Parish in Denton for the students, faculty and alums of University of North Texas and Texas Women’s University.
He has also served at St. Matthew Parish in Bedford, as a campus minister at University of Texas at Arlington, and as vocations director for the diocese.
Ordained: May 25, 2002 at Sacred Heart Parish in Muenster
Growing up: The youngest of seven children, Fr. Walterscheid was raised on a farm “with every type of animal you could think of.” Farming was hard work, and he and his siblings would return from school to the list of assignments. Fr. Walterscheid’s favorite was raising calves.
Steeped in faith: He went to Sacred Heart School in Muenster where he attended daily Mass. In third grade, he became an altar server, aspiring to become the head altar server, who had the privilege of ringing the bell. “Except for those times I forgot to ring the bell.”
His family instilled good habits, like resting on the Sabbath and saying the Rosary during Lent. But “my best memories growing up with the faith was the Mass itself and serving.”
The call: Thoughts of priesthood came up in high school and again during his senior year at University of Texas at Arlington, where he earned an undergraduate degree in civil engineering.
He then “intentionally got my master’s degree in structural engineering just to push off the idea of thinking about the priesthood. I was very adamant not to become one before I became adamant to become one.”
He designed bridges for the highway department for five years while he reflected and prayed about the priesthood. “The process is difficult because it is saying ‘yes’ to God. Anybody and everybody can relate to that. Saying ‘yes’ to God for your life means you have to give up something in order to enter into the new doors that God has in store for you.”
Best part of being a priest: “In Reconciliation, you see the Holy Spirit active and powerfully wiping away sin and giving them a fresh start, giving them the grace to be alive and free again. And the Eucharist. To celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass — to make present the sacrifice of Christ in our time, in this place, with this community.”
On campus: “It’s where I feel I can do the greatest good. College-age men and women are open to exploring and asking deeper questions.” Bible studies, community, and prayer life help pass on the faith and transform lives.
Fr. Walterscheid sees the millennial generation struggling with isolation and loneliness.
“I personally support them, encourage them, challenge them, and place them deeper into a community that will do likewise. To bring them Christ who is our ultimate solution, and our ultimate reward is to be in union with Him for eternity.”
Worth fighting for: “Every human life is made in God’s image and likeness and we have to fight to sustain that dignity in the public forum that is constantly stripping that dignity away.”
Our Blessed Mother: Three years ago, Fr. Walterscheid celebrated his 25th anniversary of a daily Rosary by adding a second Rosary to his day. “The Lord on the cross gave us His own mother . . . How can you still be giving gifts in the hour of your death?”