ST. PAUL — A Southeast Kansas Catholic congregation and men’s group are organizing a 12-mile walk Saturday, Sept. 14, that will honor Emil Kapaun, a Kansas priest who died in the Korean War. The walk will end in St. Paul.

Kapaun is being considered by the Vatican for sainthood.

The walk is called the Pilgrimage of the Plains and is a joint sponsorship between Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Pittsburg and Kapaun’s Men and Sisterhood of Our Lady.

The trek will begin at St. Aloysius Church in Greenbush with a rosary at 8 a.m. The walk will conclude with Mass at St. Francis Catholic Church in St. Paul followed by a lunch.

The pilgrimage is designed as a kickoff to a Kapaun’s Men series that will start this fall, “The Pilgrimage Series.” Kapaun’s Men is a Catholic organization that meets to pray and discuss ways to respond to God’s call and become better fathers, husbands and leaders.

“We will also be piloting this series with Sisterhood of Our Lady,” said Brandon Brill, leadership team chair with Kapaun’s Men in Pittsburg. “We wanted to host this event as a way for us to be active in our community, parish and family while exploring a historically significant area for our diocese.

“A lot of people utilize the pilgrimage as a vehicle to their prayer life,” he said. “We wanted to make an offer for those who could not make the walk. We’ll have a place in the church where people can submit prayer requests and have the online option as well. We will collect these and carry them with us on the pilgrimage. In essence, we will carry their intentions with us. Our intent then is to leave them at the altar in St. Paul.”

Brill said Kansas has a 60-mile pilgrimage from Wichita to Pilsen to honor Kapaun, a Pilsen native.

“Several of us in Pittsburg have made that pilgrimage and wanted to bring a version of our own to the southeast corner of the state,” he said.

As of Friday there were 60 participants signed up. That number likely will grow after the final week for registrations.

“We invite everyone to join us in our pilgrimage. Rain or shine, we’ll have it,” Brill said. 

For more information or to register, visit

Recommended for you