Father Emil J. Kapaun was born in Pilsen, Kansas in 1916. He attended Kenrick Seminary from 1936 until his graduation in 1940. Bishop Christian Winkelmann ordained Father Kapaun as a Roman Catholic priest for the Diocese of Wichita on June 9, 1940. After serving in the Pilsen, KS area for a time, Father Kapaun joined the U.S. Army as a military chaplain. In 1950, Father Kapaun was ordered to Korea where he was later captured and held in a prison camp near Pyoktong, North Korea. During his seven months in captivity, Father Kapaun ministered to his fellow POWs in ordinary and extraordinary ways. Father Kapaun died on May 23, 1951 at the prison camp.
Father Kapaun was known for his ordinary and extraordinary holiness and remembered for his humility, bravery, constancy, love, and kindness. He serves as an inspiration to the seminarians at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.
In 1993, Father Kapaun was named a “Servant of God” by the Roman Catholic Church, the first step toward possible canonization. The Vatican is now examining possible miracles attributed to the intercession of Father Kapaun. He is also be considered for the designation of “martyr.”
FATHER EMIL KAPAUN STUDENT CENTER
On April 11, 2013, Father John Horn, S.J., President-Rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, announced that the new recreation center on the seminary campus would be named The Father Emil Kapaun Student Center. This building contains lounge areas for the Theology and College seminarians, a bookstore, and a large workout facility. The naming of the Kapaun Center recognizes the ordinary yet extraordinary holiness of one of the seminary’s most distinguished alumni.
THE MEDAL OF HONOR
President Obama posthumously awarded Father Emil Kapaun the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry in April 2013. Father Kapaun received the Medal for his extraordinary heroism. An official replica of Father Kapaun’s Medal of Honor is on display in the Father Emil Kapaun Student Center on the seminary campus. The seminary is grateful to the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association coordinated the donation and installation of the Display Medal.
We have 7 holy cards to give away, and 3 booklets “the story of Father Emil J. Kapaun” Chaplain, United States Army “Servant of God” we will sent the booklets and holy cards on a first come first served basis. Simply provide you name and address and email to the the Hermitage by completing the contact form below.