November 1: Father Joseph Kapus


November 1, 1962

Father Joseph Kapus

Father Kapus was born on March 8, 1903 in Lesce, Slovenia, Yugoslavia where he also received his early schooling. In Ljubljana he graduated from the Bishop’s College in 1924 and completed his studies for the priesthood at the University of Ljubljana where he was ordained by Bishop Gregory Rozman for the Diocese of Ljubljana on June 29, 1928. In 1941 the Gestapo forced him from his parish in Leskovica and in 1945 he fled on foot with 40,000 refugees through the mountains to Austria to escape the Communists. After living in a refugee camp in Pontebba, Italy, Pope Pius XII assigned him to a college in Rome. Bishop Carroll arranged for Father Kapus to come to the Diocese of Wichita and he arrived on December 15, 1948. After studying English with Fr. Goracy in Pilsen, he was named chaplain of St. Joseph’s Home in El Dorado. He then served in Caney and Cedarvale, Yates Center, and Fulton along with being chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott. He died on November 1, 1962 from injuries received in a car accident at LaCygne, Kansas. His funeral was celebrated by Bishop Carroll at the cathedral with Father John Lavrih as deacon and Father Francis Jerasa as subdeacon both of whom were close friends of Father Kapus and who also had escaped from Yugoslavia.