Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School prepares for Father Kapaun vigil


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – At the heart of Kapaun Mt. Carmel, a treasure trove lies hidden in plain sight.

“I get to walk by every day, but you know, most people don’t, don’t really realize that we house these things in our building,” Crista Burnett with KMC Catholic High School said.

The school’s rotunda provides a miniature museum filled with dozens of items belonging to Father Emil Kapaun.

“I get to bring the kids down here and look at all these wonderful artifacts,” Burnett said.

Crista Burnett has been teaching the story of Father Emil Kapaun at the school for 30 years.

Along with school president Rob Knapp, she is excited to bring these items into the spotlight.

“We have trained a group of students that we call the Kapaun Mt. Carmel student ambassadors. We will have groups of people that go through. We’re going to try to filter people through in about a 10-20 minute window,” Knapp said.

But it’s not just a history lesson the school is hoping to give.

“We are conducting these tours and hoping that through these liturgies, we can provide for those POWs who served with Father Kapaun some sense of closure,” Knapp said.

It’s a sense of closure, which for many, is 70 years in the making.

“I always tell the students that, you know, I’m just not sure if we’ll ever get his remains back, so the fact that we get to offer these great tours—personally, I’m very, very excited,” Burnett said.

Tours will run from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Groups are free to observe for longer than the 20 minute scheduled tour if so desired. The tours are open to the general public.

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