Remains Of Revered Kansas Priest Returned To Family

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The remains of a Catholic priest from Kansas who is being considered for sainthood were returned to his family during a ceremony Tuesday in Hawaii.

U.S. Defense officials gave the remains of Rev. Emil Kapaun to his family and officials with the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, including Bishop Carl Kemme, The Wichita Eagle reported.

The remains will be flown back to Kansas, where they will be taken first to Pilsen — Kapaun’s hometown — before going to Wichita, where a funeral is scheduled for Sept. 29.

Kapaun was captured in 1950 while attending to soldiers during the Korean War. He died of pneumonia at the POW camp while continuing to minister to fellow prisoners.

Kapaun was awarded the Medal of Honor. In 1993, the Catholic church named him a “Servant of God,” which began the lengthy process of canonization.

The Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced in March that Kapaun's remains had been identified at the agency's laboratory at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.