Skip to main content


Heroic priest, Fr. Emil Kapaun, to receive Medal of Honor

3/12/2013 - 6:44 AM PST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY
Catholic PRWire

For More Information:
Lisa Wheeler, 770-591-0045 or
LWheeler@carmelcommunications.com
or
Kevin Wandra, 404-788-1276 or
KWandra@CarmelCommunications.com

Official date of honor released yesterday by White House

WHAT – President Barack Obama will award Chaplain (Captain) Emil J. Kapaun, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor posthumously for conspicuous gallantry.

WHEN – The event will be held Thursday, April 11. A second ceremony will occur the next day, April 12 at the Pentagon.

WHERE – The award ceremony will occur at the White House in Washington, D.C. A second ceremony will occur the next day, April 12 at the Pentagon.

WHY – Fr. Kapaun died as a prisoner of war, and the Korean War veterans who served with him, who were saved by him, have lobbied the Army for more than 60 years to award Kapaun the Medal of Honor for his acts of bravery.

Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying, the authors of “The Miracle of Father Kapaun,” interviewed the dozens of men who survived the POW camp because of the courageous acts of this young priest. “They said he repeatedly ran through machine gun fire, dragging wounded soldiers to safety. In the prison camp, he shaped roofing tin into cooking pots so prisoners could boil water, which prevented dysentery. He picked lice off sick prisoners. He stole food from his captors and shared it with his starving comrades. Most of all, Kapaun rallied all of them, as they starved during subzero temperatures, to stay alive. When their future seemed hopeless, he persuaded them to hope. Hundreds died in the camps, but hundreds more survived,” recounts Wenzl and Heying.

According to the press release distributed by the White House, Fr. Kapaun is being given this honor because he displayed extraordinary heroism while serving as a military chaplain during combat, and as a prisoner of war from November 2, 1950 – May 23, 1951.

“When Chinese Communist Forces viciously attacked friendly elements, Fr. Kapaun calmly walked through withering enemy fire in order to provide comfort and medical aid to his comrades. When they found themselves surrounded by the enemy, the able-bodied men were ordered to evacuate. Fr. Kapaun, fully aware of his certain capture, elected to stay behind with the wounded. As hand-to-hand combat ensued, he continued to make rounds. As enemy forces approached the American position, Fr. Kapaun noticed an injured Chinese officer amongst the wounded and convinced him to negotiate the safe surrender of the American forces. Shortly after his capture, Fr. Kapaun bravely pushed aside an enemy soldier preparing to execute a comrade, thus saving a life and inspiring all those present to remain and fight the enemy until captured.”

ABOUT Fr. Kapaun – He was born in Pilsen, Kansas, in the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, on Holy Thursday, April 20, 1916. He was ordained as a Priest for the Diocese on June 9, 1940, and entered the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps in 1944. Separated from the service in 1946, he re-entered the Army in 1948 and was sent to Japan the following year. In July of 1950, Fr. Kapaun was ordered to Korea. On November 2 of that same year, he was taken as a prisoner of war. In the seven months in prison, Fr. Kapaun spent himself in heroic service to his fellow prisoners without regard for race, color or creed, according to testimony of men of all faiths. Ignoring his own ill health, he nursed the sick and wounded until a blood clot in his leg prevented his daily rounds. Moved to a so-called hospital but denied medical assistance, his death soon followed on May 23, 1951. The Diocese of Wichita and the Vatican have begun the formal process that could lead to Fr. Kapaun’s canonization. It was announced in 1993 that Fr. Kapaun would receive the title of “Servant of God.”

HOW – Contact Lisa Wheeler (770-591-0045 or by email at LWheeler@CarmelCommunications.com) or Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or by email KWandra@CarmelCommunications.com) of Carmel Communications to schedule interviews with Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying, co-authors of The Miracle of Fr. Kapaun: Priest, Soldier and Korean War Hero,” a new book published by Ignatius Press that chronicles the heroic life of Fr. Kapaun. Both Wenzl and Heying will be at the Medal of Honor ceremonies in Washington, D.C., next month.

MORE INFORMATION – For more information on the Medal of Honor ceremony, or to schedule an interview with Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying, or to request a galley copy of The Miracle of Fr. Kapaun: Priest, Soldier and Korean War Hero, please contact Lisa Wheeler (770-591-0045 or by email at LWheeler@CarmelCommunications.com) or Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or by email KWandra@CarmelCommunications.com) of Carmel Communications.

Also, see The Wichita Eagle’s story on Fr. Kapaun and the Medal of Honor announcement for more information: http://www.kansas.com/2013/03/11/2711367/white-house-kapaun-to-get-medal.html.

Contact


http://www.ignatius.com  GA, 30075 US
Kevin Wandra - , 

Keywords

Emil Kapaun, Medal of Honor, Catholic priest, Ignatius Press, war hero

Category

Catholic Publications

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment


Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:1-5
Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come with any ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
How I love your Law! I ponder it all day long. You make me ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into ... Read More

Saint of the Day

September 1 Saint of the Day

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... Read More