Thursday, June 20, 2013

Father Kapaun Day

On the first Sunday in June, we went on a pilgrimage to St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen, KS.  Pilsen is the hometown of Fr. Emil Kapaun, a priest who was an Army Chaplain in World War II and the Korean War.  He was captured during the Korean War because he would not leave the wounded, and he and his fellow soldiers were taken to a Chinese prison camp, where they lived in horrid conditions.  Fr. Kapaun kept up the morale of his fellow soldiers, helping them in countless ways both physical and spiritual.  The Chinese soldiers feared and hated him, and when Fr. Kapaun finally became sick, they took him away and left him to die.  He has been declared a Servant of God, and his cause for Beatification is underway at this time.  He has just this year finally received a Congressional Medal of Honor.  Every year his hometown parish hosts Fr. Kapaun Day, celebrating his life and death, and always working to promote his path to Sainthood.  It was really crowded in the church  Thank goodness, we arrived 30 minutes early.

A very pretty, old-fashioned church.  We enjoyed that!

After Mass, a few people spoke, among them Ray Kapaun, Fr. Kapaun's nephew.  He presented the Medal of Honor to the parish.  Afterwards, we went up to see it.
Our family with the Medal of Honor.

Off to the side in the back of the church.

We then went down to the church basement for a ham dinner.  The kids actually ate quite a bit!  There were a lot of Fr. Kapaun pictures all around the room, which were interesting to look at while we were waiting in line. 

The statue below is of Fr. Kapaun assisting a wounded soldier on the march to the prison camp.  He had saved this soldier's life by stopping an enemy soldier from executing him because he couldn't walk.
A nice family photo.

Checking out the statue up close.

The kids in the grotto nearby.

Boys were getting silly.

A neat metal silhouette out by the road.

Anthony exploring.

St. John Nepomucene Church.

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