Pilgrimage honors Father Kapaun

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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WICHITA, Kan. Early Friday morning, about 175 people left for a 3 day, 60 mile pilgrimage through Kansas. They are completing the journey in honor of Father Kapaun.

"Pilgrimages have a long history in the church," said Father Eric Weldon. "So, we do this as a way of honoring him and offering up our prayers, words, joys, and sufferings of these three days."

Father Kapaun moved one step closer in the process for canonization as a saint last year when he was awarded the Medal of Honor. But the possibility of sainthood is still under consideration.

"His cause for sainthood obviously is in God's hands," said Ryan Cocherl, a walker from Overland Park. "But to create awareness about the things that he did, not only around Kansas, but what he did for his men in the POW camp, it's a story that all people could benefit from hearing."

Father Kapaun's nephew, Ray, took on the trek for the first time. He says it's important to him to have the family name represented on the journey.

"I had always wanted to and kept saying I was going to," Kapaun said. "I decided that today was going to be the time to do it."

The pilgrimage will end in Pilsen on Sunday. A mass will begin when all the walkers arrive.

"Your body hurts in more ways than you can imagine," said walker Paula Kear. "But when you walk into that parking lot in Pilsen and see that church, it's a feeling you can't explain."

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