Make a Pilgrimage

Visit the Museum and Parish in Pilsen or in September Kapaun's Remains at the Cathedral

The Chaplain Kapaun Museum is located in Father Kapaun’s home church, St. John Nepomucene in Pilsen, Kansas, and coming at the end of September, his remains will be available to visit at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.

If you're up for a more robust experience, join us on the annual 60-mile pilgrimage through the plains to Pilsen in remembrance of Father Kapaun the first weekend of June each year.

Annual Walking Pilgrimage

The Chaplain Kapaun Museum

At Father Kapaun's Home Parish

St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen, Kansas is where Emil Kapaun's faith was first formed. It's also where he served the first years of his priesthood. Located in the old rectory where Father Kapaun, lived, the Chaplain Kapaun Museum and St. John Nepomucene located 8 miles north of US Highway 56 on 275th street in Marion County, Kansas.

The drive from Wichita takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
See a Map

Museum Hours: Tuesday and Friday afternoons 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Or by appointment on Weekdays and Saturdays.
Contact Harriet Bina, 620-381-1689, to set up a visit.
Tours normally take 1 ½ - 2 hours.
Please let us know tour options you would like us to cover.

  • The Life of Father Kapaun
  • Father Kapaun Artifacts
  • Alleged Miracles
  • Church Tour
  • Statue (weather permitting)
  • Cemetery (weather permitting)
  • Videos of Father Kapaun
  • Lunch can be provided for groups

Groups of 10 or more please call in advance. Sunday tours cannot be accommodated. Group tours should be no larger than 60 people. Donations to the Father Kapaun Legacy Fund are appreciated.
No Handicap Accessibility: unfortunately the Chaplain Kapaun Museum is located in an old rectory and currently does not have handicap accessibility.

All Catholic priests who wish to celebrate Mass at St. John Nepomucene Church must make reservations in advance with Rose at the Holy Family Parish office. Priests from outside the Catholic Diocese of Wichita must provide a letter of suitability for each priest celebrant/concelebrant with the dates and location of the desired Mass. Copies must be sent to both the Office of the Bishop and the Holy Family Parish Office in advance of the date of the Mass.

Holy Family Parish Office: Rose Davidson, hfpmarion@yahoo.com

Diocese of Wichita: Tracy Winslow, winslowt@CatholicDioceseofWichita.org

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Father Kapaun's Final Resting Place

When Father Kapaun's mortal remains finally arrive home in Kansas, they will be interred in the crypt at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. Guests will then be able to visit Father Kapaun's tomb and pay respects.

Walking the Path to Heaven

The Father Kapaun Pilgrimage

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.

How many times does not Holy Mother Church tell us that our life on this earth is a journey? This earth is not our lasting home. God created us for a higher, a much more perfect home, our home in heaven with the joy of God.
—  Servant of God Emil Kapaun

Details of the Pilgrimage

The pilgrimage is run by Father Eric Weldon, the Brunke family, and several volunteers. It begins at the Church of the Magdalen in 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. Volunteers will transport our luggage and camping gear to each location, and meals will be provided. Camp showers will 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 Magdalen 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 $20 a pilgrim.

For more information, please contact Scott at carters@catholicdioceseofwichita.org

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the route?

Start: Church of the Magdalen, 12626 E. 21st St. N, Wichita, KS 67206, 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

Map of Pilgrimage

What to Wear? Will I carry my gear?

Bring sunscreen! Wear a good sun hat, light clothing, walking shorts, good walking shoes, good socks. It is NOT recommended to wear heavy hiking boots that are designed for mountains or very rugged terrain.

All gear will be transported by trailer. You can carry a small backpack.

Will I carry my gear? What if I need to rest? Will there be First Aid?

There will be rest stops along the way. If more rest is needed a trail vehicle will be provided.

Yes, a medicine box will be provided. But bring band-aids or other items for treating blisters.

Will I be able to keep up?

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.

Will showers be available?

Yes, 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.

Will there be Mass and confession time available?

We will have Mass on each day of the trip. Priests will be available on the pilgrimage.

Will be meals be provided? Will there be coffee?

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!

How will I get home?

A school bus will be on hand at Pilsen to transport those who wish back to Magdalen.

How many times does not Holy Mother Church tell us that our life on this earth is a journey? This earth is not our lasting home. God created us for a higher, a much more perfect home, our home in heaven with the joy of God.

- Servant of God Emil Kapaun