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Hero priest receives posthumous Medal of Honor

  • Denise Enos
  • |
  • May 03 2013
CNS photo/courtesy U.S. Army medic Raymond Skeehan

Father Emil Kapaun is recognized for his heroism during the Korean War

You may have never heard of Father Emil Kapaun, and it’s likely that your students haven’t either. But his story is a compelling one, and in a time of few true heroes, it’s a significant story to share with your students.

On April 14, 2013, the White House conducted a Medal of Honor ceremony to recognize the heroic actions of Father Emil Kapaun, an Army chaplain during the Korean War in the 1950s. The Wichita diocesan priest was last seen on the battlefield in 1951 as he ministered to soldiers. He was taken prisoner, ignoring an opportunity to retreat to safety during a battle between United States and Chinese forces. Rather than fall back, the 35-year-old priest decided to stay with the soldiers and was captured.

His whereabouts unknown and long presumed dead, Kapaun is remembered for his extraordinary bravery and witness to his faith. Currently, there are efforts underway to make Father Kapaun a candidate for sainthood. The Diocese of Wichita and the Vatican have begun the formal process towards canonization.

For the full story, click here.

To find out more about Father Kapaun to share with your students, click here.


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