The Father Kapaun Pilgrimage
Walking the Path to Heaven, June 1-4, 2023
Each year at the beginning of summer hundreds of pilgrims walk 60 miles in the plains of the heartland of Kansas to the hometown of Servant of God Emil Kapaun. They do it not only to remember the heroic Catholic priest and Army chaplain who is on the path to sainthood but to discover the true meaning of their own unique paths to sainthood. Pilgrimage: June 1-4, 2023. Registration will open in March.Register Here
Details of the Pilgrimage
The pilgrimage is organized by Father Eric Weldon, the Brunke family, and several volunteers. It begins at the Church of the Resurrection in Bel Aire (northeast Wichita) and ends with the Father Kapaun Day Mass at 11:00 am in Father Kapaun's hometown of Pilsen. The first day is rigorous, covering around 22 miles, with the following three days covering about 13, 16, and 8 miles a day. The walk includes daily Mass and time for confessions. Every 2-3 miles of the walk we pause for Father Kapaun Stations: reflections on different aspects of Father Kapaun's life. Portions of the walk are dedicated to group rosaries and silence, while the rest is a great time for discussion and meeting new people. At night we camp in tents and have more opportunities for fellowship and to learn more about Father Kapaun. Volunteers will transport our luggage and camping gear each day, and meals will be provided. Camp showers will also be available. We will finish the pilgrimage with Mass at St. John Nepomucene, Father Kapaun's home parish, and a bus will be available to transport us back to Wichita. For safety purposes we must refrain from getting too spread out, keeping support vehicles at the front and back of the group. Be prepared to walk on average 3 mph, occasionally a little faster. Support vehicles will be able to offer you a ride if you need a break from walking. Pilgrims who are unable to walk all 4 days are welcome to join us on any particular morning. A van will meet at the Church of the Resurrection to pick up new pilgrims each day, or locations will be provided if you would like to meet us before we start. Please sign up through the link (when available) and mark the days you plan to attend. This pilgrimage is made possible by donations. We ask that pilgrims make a small donation to cover food, gas, and other needs, usually in the amount of $35 a pilgrim. For more information, please contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
Start: Church of the Resurrection, 4910 N Woodlawn St, Bel Aire, KS 67226, on Thursday. Pilgrimage begins with Mass at 6 am. First Day: 22 Miles to McNeil farm, 2 miles north of Whitewater. Second Day: 14 Miles to Peabody Park Third Day: 16 Miles to Kroupa Farm, US-56 and Remington Road Fourth Day: 8 Miles to Pilsen, Father Kapaun Day Mass at 11:00 am
You will want to bring a good sun hat, light clothing, walking shorts, good walking shoes and good socks. It is NOT recommended to wear heavy hiking boots that are designed for mountains or very rugged terrain. You will also need to bring a tent and sleeping bag. We will send a full packing list after registration. All gear and extra clothing will be transported by trailer. You can carry a small backpack with your needs for the day.
There will be rest stops along the way. If more rest is needed a trail vehicle follows us and can give you a ride as needed. Yes, a medicine box will be provided, but you may wish to bring band-aids, foot glide or other items for preventing and treating blisters.
For safety purposes we must refrain from getting too spread out, keeping support vehicles at the front and back of the group. Be prepared to walk on average 3 mph, occasionally a little faster. Support vehicles will be able to offer you a ride if you need a break from walking.
At the overnight stops there will be simple camp showers outside for those who want to use them. A swimsuit would be good to bring. Bathrooms will be limited along the way. There are occasional bathrooms, but often we use the great outdoors. Port-a-potties are available at the overnight stops.
We will have Mass on each day of the trip. Priests will be available on the pilgrimage.
Yes, breakfast will be small, lunch and dinner provided. No, because it is often very hot, we try to stay away from coffee which can speed up dehydration. We realize this is a sacrifice!
A school bus will be on hand at Pilsen to transport those who wish back to Magdalen.