By Scott Carter
“The glory of God is man fully alive,” wrote St. Irenaeus in 185 A.D., “and the life of man is the vision of God.” The search for happiness and fulfillment is something that we all experience, but sometimes we forget that God wants it for us as well. As St. Irenaeus pointed out and all the saints exemplify, if we want to become fully alive we must live a life centered on Christ.
Kapaun’s Men will be hosting its annual retreat for men on Oct. 21-22. Nick Dellasega, director of the retreat, said he chose “Fully Alive” as the theme because “what Father Kapaun endured while in the prison camp was incredible – a starvation diet, the extreme cold and sicknesses, all the abuse he endured – yet I would venture to say that’s when he was most fully alive. The conditions didn’t define him. Instead the fact that he was centered in Christ allowed him to live life to the full, and that’s what is still inspiring men today.”
Some advice that Father John Lanzrath, the chaplain for Kapaun’s Men, gave at last year’s retreat has stuck with Dellasega. “He said when guys tell him they have trouble listening to God, he asks them if they have opened the Bible lately! I think that scripture is what grounded Father Kapaun, so we’re going to dive into it with him this year.”
The retreat, which is in its fifth year, is being hosted in a new location, Prairie Star Ranch in Williamsburg, Kansas. Prairie Star is a ministry of the Archdiocese of Kansas City Kansas, and is about a two-hour drive from both Wichita and Pittsburg. It features several bunkhouses, a dining hall and a meeting hall, as well as a beautiful chapel with the Blessed Sacrament and great grounds for exploring.
“We are excited about how welcoming the Prairie Star Ranch staff have been to Kapaun’s Men,” said Jason Searl, director of the Kapaun’s Men Advisory Board. “It will be a great venue to learn the life and lessons of Fr. Kapaun.”
In addition, he says the retreat is always a special opportunity for him to connect with other men who are interested in living their faith to the full, even if they are still working on it. “This retreat always gives me renewed optimism in how the Holy Spirit can strengthen us by sharing our faith.”
All men college age and older are invited to the retreat, which will be led by national speaker Joe Farris with witness talks by several other men. Time will be given for small group discussion and personal reflection, and Mass will be celebrated each day.
Carter is coordinator of Kapaun’s Men for the Diocese of Wichita.

Want to participate in the retreat?
A Kapaun’s Men Fully Alive Retreat will be offered from 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, to noon Sunday, Oct. 22, at Prairie Star Ranch in Williamsburg, Kansas, located between Emporia and Ottawa on Interstate 35.
The cost is $95. To register visit, or call Scott at 316-269-3900.
Kapaun’s Men is a parish-based fellowship and formation program for men that offers three-video series based on the life and spirituality of Father Kapaun.