Pilsen awaits Father Kapaun’s return

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — On Saturday, Father Emil Kapaun’s remains will arrive in Wichita. 

Before his burial at the Wichita Catholic Diocese, he will be transported to Pilsen, where he grew up. 

For the past year, the town of Pilsen has been preparing for the return of Father Kapaun. Long-time Pilsen resident and tour guide of the Father Kapaun Museum, Harriet Bina can hardly wait. 

Bina moved to Pilsen when she was 9 years old. It was the same summer Father Kapaun died in the prison camps in Korea.

“It’s been a long year waiting for him, been 70 years that I’ve been waiting for him to come home,” said Bina.

Bina said a lot of people have been booking last-minute tours at the Father Kapaun Museum.

“You know his story has just been kept alive with most of us, a long time and, and for our children, we definitely want them to know the history,” she continued.

The people of Pilsen don’t know exactly what the turnout will be, but Bina said there is room for people of all faiths. 

“He was a soldier, and we want them to come. He received the medal of honor, we want them to feel welcome to come,” she added. 

It will also be a time for reflection. 

“We also want it to be a time for spirituality,” she said. “We want to touch their hearts.”

Bina said people in town are ready to honor Father Kapaun’s return.

Father Emil J. Kapaun official home page

“You know, it’s been a long time for him to come home and to be the hero he was. We want to give him a hero’s welcome. We want him to know that from Pilsen he was loved,” she concluded. 

According to Bina, the military will carry Father Kapaun’s remains into the church, where a service will be held in his honor. Afterward, the church will allow people time to file by the casket.

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