Pilsen parishioners invited to Kapaun funeral
Invitations to Father Emil Kapaun’s funeral have been arriving in the mailboxes of parishioners of St. John Nepomucene, his home church in Pilsen.
The gesture from the Wichita Catholic Diocese is meant to let residents of his hometown know they are welcome at vigil services and a funeral Mass set Sept. 28 and 29 in Wichita’s Hartman Arena.
Longtime volunteer Harriet Bina has hers, but says plans for Father Kapaun’s return to his home state still are being worked out.
“They really haven’t told us anything yet,” Bina said, adding this is understandable because nothing is set in stone.
Preparations are under way to get the church and grounds ready to receive visitors.
Kapaun’s remains will be flown from Honolulu to Eisenhower Airport in Wichita.
He will arrive at Pilsen Sept. 25 and remain for two days.
Sunday Mass at St. John will be reserved for Holy Family’s parishioners, but plenty of visitors are expected.
“There is no way anyone can anticipate the crowd that could show,” she said.
Visitors to the Kapaun museum all tell Bina they plan to return to Pilsen in September.
“I had a chaplain at Fort Riley tell me he was coming,” she said. “People from Kansas City say they are coming, a group from Oklahoma says they are coming.”
Residents who plan to attend the vigil or funeral at Hartman arena must reserve tickets from Ticketmaster.
Tickets are going fast.
The Wichita diocese has a link on its web site.
One thing is certain, Bina said, Father Emil Kapaun is coming home to Pilsen.
“When that time comes, we will be ready,” she said.