"And the king will answer them,
'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the
Fr. Wally Kasuboski's service career metaphorically resembles the climbing of a ladder. Each rung, each step on the growth and upward climb has led him to his ultimate calling as he serves the poor and impoverished people in the Chepo/Bayano Mission in Panama.
The climbing of this ladder began with his work in a Mexican-American cultural center which led to service in Nicaragua which, in the next step, took him to Montana's Crow and Cheyenne Indian Reservations. His scope broadened when he promoted human rights issues in the Washington Office on Latin American and lobbied for approval of the Panama Canal Treaty. As the voice for the Spanish-speaking people in the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan, he further served the underserved.
Roadblocks in his call to service encouraged him to find potential answers through a law degree and work in the legal field.. As an attorney, he was the spokesperson for those underemployed and undervalued in Washington, D.C.. Soon he encountered frustration and dissatisfaction with the legal system and turned to the ultimate judge and courtroom: the church.
With his background in Spanish and previous work in Central America, his head and heart found a home in the jungles of Panama where he was asked to volunteer for mission work in 1988, seemingly the final rung on his ladder--at least to date.
Father Wally, as he is known in the U.S., and Padre Pablo, as he is known in Panama, could have served his people and God most admirably in the singular role of priest and Father. However, he removed his cloak and vestments when reality dictated a more common-sense, humanistic approach to service. As a result of conditions in the village of Wacuco, Fr. Wally knew that fresh clean water was a high priority for the Chocoe Embera Indians. That initial realization took him up another ladder, again metaphorical, that called for working closely with the people themselves to discover their needs and levels of commitment toward a better life, their local governing bodies which would sustain the work that would be done and, finally, the Panamanian government which supported his efforts in theory but very little financially.
As a result, Fr. Wally essentially organized a construction company in concert with a spiritual mission for the souls of the disenfranchised. He created jobs, apprenticed local people as they learned the trades, lobbied his family and friends in the U.S. and beyond for physical and financial support, built churches, maintained roads, designed water systems and is fulfilling his call to service.
The list of his accomplishments is long and, in 1996, he was recognized for his efforts with the prestigious Vasco Nunez de Balboa award. With the respite from the 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week commitment only during the rainy season, he spends the remainder of his time garnering funds and support for short- and long-range plans to improve the health and raise the standards of living for these people; in the process, he touches their souls. The province of St Joseph of the Capuchin Order gives a monthly subsidy to the Wacuco Mission which covers some of the immediate and necessary cost of running daily operations. The majority of funding comes from various Catholic churches, service clubs, businesses, and individuals in the U.S.. His work is never finished.