Father Emil Kapuan
Pilsen, KS, April 20, 1916-Korea, May 23, 1951
The only relation today has with Father Kapuan, is that I learned more about him during the Deacon’s homily. He served in WWII and upon return home asked to be reassigned to the Chaplain Corps so went to Korea. In Korea he was captured, escaped with assistance from his comrades, but was recaptured the next day as he was ministering to the wounded on the battlefield. Despite having been assigned to a more comfortable barracks as an officer, he snuck out and ministered to the enlisted men, Catholics and Protestant, until he was no longer able to do so. He died in captivity.
I had previously read that he was nominated for the Medal of Honor, the US Military’s highest decoration. Of course, more relevant to those of us who are Catholic, is that he was elevated to Servant of God in 1993 and the Diocese of Wichita opened his Cause for Canonization on June 29, 2008.
For anyone in or near Kansas, the date of the annual Military Pilgrimage to Pilsen is November 11.
If you can afford to, please support his cause; I’m sure they accept outright donations, but there’s a memorabilia section on the Cause webpage. You can buy Father Kapuan dogtags or many other items to support this cause. For those of you with Catholic relatives in the military, there are also two different styles of Father Kapuan rosaries. The perfect patron for someone on the front lines.