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Pilsen pilgrimage to promote Kapaun's sainthood

Staff writer

More than 100 pilgrims seeking to promote sainthood for Father Emil Kapaun will walk from Wichita to the Korean War hero’s church in Pilsen this weekend.

Kapaun, an army chaplain, died in a prisoner of war camp in 1951. His heroic efforts to save fellow soldiers inspired many, and several claim to have been miraculously healed after intercessions were made to Father Kapaun on their behalf. The Vatican has designated him a “servant of God,” a first step toward Sainthood.

The annual pilgrimage in his honor will start Friday at the Church of the Magdalen in Wichita on Friday and end around Sunday noon at St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church in Pilsen.

People may join the pilgrimage for all or part of the trip, volunteer to help the walkers, offer prayers, or provide food, snacks, or money.

Pilgrims will walk 22 miles a day, with stops overnight on a farm north of Whitewater and at Aulne United Methodist Church. Every two or three miles, they will pause at a “Father Kapaun Station” to reflect on other aspects of his life from birth to death. The trip will include daily Mass and confessions. Pilgrims donate $10 each to cover costs.

On Sunday, the group will be met on the south edge of Pilsen by a Eucharist procession. Walking under a fringed canopy supported by four Knights of Columbus, much like Father Kapaun did many years ago, Father Darrin May, Holy Family Parish priest, will carry an ornate vessel holding the sacramental body of Christ.

A reception is planned from 1 to 2 p.m. at the church. A 3 p.m. Mass will be followed by dinner. More information is available from Holy Family Parish at (620) 382-3369.

Last modified June 3, 2015

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