Fr. Emil Kapaun was a Kansas Priest and Korean War hero from Pilsen who led an extraordinary life and is on the road to sainthood. Fr. Kapaun, Servant of God, pray for us.
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Update from the Congregation for Saints

Regarding the New Motu Proprio by Pope Francis on a new Pathway for Beatification:

In short, we don't expect this to affect Father Kapaun's Cause.

Many of you may have read about the Pope’s new Apostolic Letter “On the Offer of Life” approving a new path to sainthood and may be wondering if it affects the Cause for Beatification for Father Emil Kapaun.  The Pope's actions do open up a new category to be considered for beatification of persons designated as Servants of God.  The traditional pathways had been through martyrdom, a life of heroic (or extraordinary) virtue, or a far-spread reputation of sanctity, especially in the case of more ancient Servants of God.  The new path is for those who have lived lives of ordinary virtue (e.g. following the commandments and displaying the virtues of faith, hope and love) and also have laid down their lives out of charity for someone else.  This differs from martyrdom in that they were not killed in hatred of the faith, but instead in a situation where their life was still required of them.  It differs from heroic virtue in that the level of virtue doesn’t have to be above and beyond what most of us display.

I do not think this change will influence the case that we are working on for Father Kapaun. We are currently seeking Father Kapaun's beatification on the grounds that he lived a life of heroic virtue and sanctity.  I think we have proven this in the Positio that has already been presented to the Congregation for Saints. The Positio is currently under review by the Congregation and we await their findings as to whether or not they agree.  If for some reason they struggle to agree that Father Kapaun lived the virtues heroically, the new pathway could be a nice safety net, as I believe he certainly meets the requirements for beatification under this new category. There is no question that Fr. Kapaun laid down his life for others.  Either way, the next step to Beatification would require the approval of one of the alleged miracles that are waiting to be reviewed until the Positio is approved, so the new changes likely will not speed things up.  Right now we continue to patiently await the findings of the Congregation and pray that Father Kapaun's Cause is advanced quickly.

Father John Hotze



As of Spring 2017, this is the latest official news we have received from the Congregation for Saints.  They are continuing to review Father Kapaun's Positio in order that his heroic virtue might be approved and he be given the title "Venerable".  See the full press release:

Office for the Beatification and Canonization of Father Emil Kapaun
June 23, 2016 

On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, the six Historical Consultants of the Congregation for Saints met to discuss the historical documents that have been presented to the Congregation as part of the Positio for the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of Father Emil Kapaun, prepared by the Postulator Dr. Andrea Ambrosi.  After evaluating the documents for completeness and accuracy, the Historical Consultants gave an affirmative vote in regard to these documents.  As a reminder, the Positio is the official document that will be used to determine if Father Kapaun lived a life of heroic virtue and sanctity.  Bishop Carl Kemme presented this Positio to Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for Saints on November 9, 2015. 

The affirmative vote by the Historical Consultants allows Father Kapaun’s Cause to move forward to the Theological Consultants.  These Consultants will review the Positio to determine if Father Kapaun’s writings and teachings are doctrinally sound and in harmony with the Church’s teachings.  If the Theological Consultants also provide an affirmative vote, the matter will be given to a panel of Cardinals and Archbishops of the Congregation for Saints.  This panel will convene to review Father Kapaun’s life one final time.  Hopefully they will come to a consensus and decide to pass Father Kapaun’s Cause on to the Holy Father who will make the ultimate decision on Father Kapaun’s Beatification and Canonization. 

As the review of Father Kapaun’s life continues, medical consultants in the Congregation will be working on the proof of alleged miracles.  One alleged miracle must be approved and accepted as having no scientific explanation for the Beatification; and, then a second miracle approved and accepted for the Canonization of Father Kapaun.  To some, this may seem like an unending process, but the naming of a Saint has never and, hopefully, will never be taken lightly.  We pray that, God willing, Father Kapaun’s cause may proceed with speed and that we will soon be honoring him as a Saint of the Holy Catholic Church. 

Father John Hotze
Episcopal Delegate of the Cause for Canonization of Fr. Emil Kapaun


Prayer for the Beatification and Canonization of Fr. Kapaun

Lord Jesus, in the midst of the folly of war, your servant, Chaplain Emil Kapaun, spent himself in total service to you on the battlefields and in the prison camps of Korea, until his death at the hands of his captors. We now ask you, Lord Jesus, if it be your will, to make known to all the world the holiness of Chaplain Kapaun and the glory of his complete sacrifice for you by signs of miracles and peace. In your name, Lord, we ask, for you are the source of peace, the strength of our service to others, and our final hope. Amen.

Chaplain Kapaun, pray for us.

  • St. John Nepomucene Church
  • About Father Kapaun
  • Listen to Father Kapaun Sermon

St. John Nepomucene Church

St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church was built by the strong backs of the farmers from the Bohemian community known as Pilsen, Marion County, Kansas in 1914 through 1915.  The church is located in the center of this little community of descendants of Bohemian families who immigrated to the United States.

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