Groups and individuals from Marion County are invited to take a tour of the Father Emil Kapaun Museum and St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church at Pilsen.
Kapaun is a candidate for beatification by the Roman Catholic Church. The museum has displays related to Kapaun and his service as a priest and an Army chaplain in a North Korean prisoner-of-war camp. Books, CDs, and other items about Kapaun are available for purchase.
People from all over the world visit the site almost daily. According to tour volunteer Harriet Bina, two men from New Guinea were recent visitors. Others come from Kansas and surrounding states. Many are schoolchildren. Eighty eighth-grade students from St. Thomas Aquinas in Wichita are expected in November.
Bina recently completed a replica of the camp in which the prisoners were held. This is on display along with a replica she built of a building that housed prisoners. She said the new addition was created especially as a visual for children.
While giving tours, volunteers present the story of Father Kapaun, Bina said. She sometimes spends several hours with guests, who are fascinated by his selfless desire to help others.
Some visitors believe they have been touched by Father Kapaun‘s intercession for them. They are overwhelmed with emotion, Bina said.
Bina said when Kapaun becomes a saint a new building to house the museum will be constructed in Pilsen. Efforts to purchase Kapaun’s boyhood rural home two miles from Pilsen are ongoing.
“A lot of people would like to walk where he walked and to stand in the front yard of the place where he lived,” Bina said.
Tours may be arranged by calling Rosemary Neuwirth at (620) 924-5282, or contacting her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.