Father Emil Kapaun, the Pilsen native currently being considered for canonization in the Catholic Church, was ordained a priest in Newman University’s St. John’s Chapel in 1940.
Therefore it makes sense the university would celebrate Kapaun as one of its own, at least in some capacity.
Newman is putting on the world-premiere of a new theatrical production, “The Miracle of Father Kapaun,” from Thursday to Sunday in the De Mattias Performance Hall on campus. The play, written by Anne Welsbacher and directed by Misty Maynard, is based on an award-winning Wichita Eagle series by Roy Wenzl and photographer Travis Heying, which has since been adapted into a book and a film.
The play focuses both on Kapaun’s life, serving as an Army chaplain during the Korean War and eventually being taken as a prisoner of war, and on the story of Chase Kear, whose miraculous recovery following a pole-vaulting accident is attributed by many to be the intercession of Kapaun.
The play stars Newman students Trevor Farney as Kapaun and Blake Lee as Kear.
It will be presented in De Mattias Hall, 3100 W. McCormick, at these times:
▪ 8 p.m. Thursday
▪ 10 a.m. Friday
▪ 8 p.m. Friday
▪ 8 p.m. Saturday
▪ 2 p.m. Sunday
Tickets to the play are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and military and $5 for students. Students at Newman, Kapaun Mount Carmel Catholic High School and Bishop Carroll Catholic High School get in free with ID. Tickets are sold at the door.
Bishop Carl Kemme presented the official position on the life of Father Emil Kapaun to Cardinal Angelo Amato at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican on Monday. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle)