© 2024 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Remains Of Father Emil Kapaun En Route To Final Resting Place

In a photo released by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Kapaun says Mass in the field during the Korean War.
In a photo released by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Kapaun says Mass in the field during the Korean War.

Father Emil Kapaun’s remains were returned to Kansas on Saturday.

A plane carrying his remains, family members and officials from the Wichita Catholic Diocese arrived at Eisenhower National Airport from Honolulu.

Kapaun’s remains were identified last spring at a national military cemetery in Hawaii, 70 years after he died in a North Korean prisoner of war camp. They were turned over to family members and diocesan officials at a ceremony this week in Honolulu.

Kapaun was awarded the Medal of Honor for his battlefield bravery in the Korean War. The Army chaplain also is being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church for his actions to help fellow prisoners following their capture in November 1950.

Kapaun’s remains left the Wichita airport for his hometown of Pilsen, in Marion County. Members of the St. John Nepomucene parish, where Kapaun once served as parish priest, will be able to pay their respects

The remains will return to Wichita for a funeral vigil Tuesday night and a funeral Mass on Wednesday. Both events are at Hartman Arena. Tickets remain for the vigil and are available through ticketmaster.com.

After the funeral Mass, Kapaun’s remains will be taken from Veterans Memorial Park by horse-drawn caisson to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Wichita, where he will be interred. Workers installed a crypt at the cathedral earlier this month.

The caisson will travel east on Central from near the park. The final stretch of the route, from Main to Broadway on Central, will be reserved for students from the Diocese of Wichita.

Tom joined KMUW in 2017 after spending 37 years with The Wichita Eagle where he held a variety of reporting and editing roles. He also is host of The Range, KMUW’s weekly show about where we live and the people who live here. Tom is an adjunct instructor in the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University.