Catholics pay respects at Father Kapaun’s tomb

Father Kapaun's tomb at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Wichita, Kan.)
Father Kapaun's tomb at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Wichita, Kan.)(KWCH)
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 1:26 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The remains of Fr. Emil Kapaun are now resting inside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Wichita. Daily mass goers are getting their chance to see his tomb. Catholics in the community, some visiting from other parts of the country, have come to pay their respects to Fr. Kapaun since he reached his final resting place inside the cathedral on Saturday. Fr. Kapaun holds the title of Servant of God, the first step to sainthood.

With more interest in the life of Fr. Kapaun, people are buying mementos from Scott Carter with the Catholic Diocese of Wichita.

“I’ve been part of Fr. Kapaun’s cause for sainthood for about six years now, so it’s been a great time,” said Carter, coordinator for Fr. Kapaun’s Cause for Sainthood. “Just an incredibly blessing to be here this year, especially when his remains have been identified, and to help work to bring him home and honor and respect and lots of prayer.”

People from across the country have joined Wichita Catholics in coming to the downtown cathedral to pay their respects. Among them are Joe and Susan Ragole, visiting Wichita from Virginia. They made sure to visit Fr. Kapaun’s tomb before mass.

“Feel so blessed that they were able to find his remains and bring him home,” Susan said.

“When we go back to Pilsen, of course, there’s a memorial there for Fr. Kapaun, it just reminds us every time we go back of how he was and the sacrifice that he made,” Joe added.

For those walking into the sanctuary at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Carter hopes it’s a special place to pay their respects and get to know more about the Army chaplain who posthumously became a Medal of Honor recipient and is on a path to sainthood.

“If [Fr. Kapaun] was with us today, he would want to instill in us a love of God, a love of our neighbor and a love of our country,” Carter said. “So, I think that’s kind of his enduring message.”

The public can visit Fr. Kapaun’s tomb before and after mass. Weekday mass is held at noon Monday through Friday, as wel as 8 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Weekend masses are held at 5 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Coming up on KWCH 12 Eyewitness News at 6pm.

Posted by Lily Wu - KWCH on Friday, October 1, 2021

Group visits will begin on November 1. Additional details on visiting the tomb can be found by clicking here.

The church no longer needs additional volunteers at this time.

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