Spreading the word about Fr. Kapaun

Scott Carter won’t have Fr. Emil Kapaun’s cutout when he drives to Irondale, Alabama, next week. But Fr. Kapaun is always nearby in his office. (Advance photo)

Director of the diocesan Fr. Kapaun Guild to be a guest Nov. 11 on EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa

Scott Carter probably won’t take the cardboard cutout of Fr. Emil Kapaun with him next week when he travels to Birmingham, Alabama, to be a guest on EWTN Live. But he will spread the word about one of the Diocese of Wichita’s favorite sons.

“EWTN reached out a few weeks ago on behalf of Fr. Mitch Pacwa to invite us to speak on Veterans Day, which is obviously a good day to talk about Fr. Kapaun and his life, both as a priest and as a chaplain,” Carter said.

He will also talk about the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints which is reviewing his life and the vote on the positio, a document, usually thousands of pages long, laying out Fr. Kapaun’s case for sainthood.

“People always love hearing about the miracles, so we’ll have to see – some of those are under investigation,” he said. “It’s hard to talk too specifically about those, but there are other ways that Father Kapaun has been at work and other miracles we can share.”

Carter, coordinator of the Fr. Kapaun Guild for the Diocese of Wichita, will also talk about the many forms of devotion to Fr. Kapaun that have developed: the Guild, the annual pilgrimage to Pilsen, those in the military hoping for his cause, Kapaun’s Men, a video series, and retreats and podcasts.

Fr. Kapaun’s cause

Carter said he hasn’t heard much recently from the Vatican about Fr. Kapaun’s cause.

“We’re still waiting for the Congregation for Saints to finish reviewing his life and to vote on the positio, hoping that the pope will give him the title ‘venerable’ and declare that he lived a life of heroic virtue, which is the step before, hopefully, beatification.”

When a cause is officially begun, the candidate receives the title Servant of God. The second step toward canonization starts when all the evidence is studied by the Congregation for Causes of Saints in Rome. If the evidence reveals true holiness exercised by the Servant of God, the Pope then orders the Congregation to issue the decree either of Martyrdom or of Heroic Virtue, and the Servant of God is given the title “venerable.”

If the Servant of God has been declared to have lived a life of heroic virtue, it must be proven that one miracle has been granted by God through the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God. Then, he or she is declared “Blessed.”

To be canonized, one miracle is required. It must be proven that this event took place through the intercession of the Blessed and after the date of his or her Beatification. When this has been proven, the Pope proceeds to the ceremony of canonization.