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‘Miracle of Father Kapaun’ wins Christopher Award

  • Eagle staff
  • Published Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at 1:41 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at 7:46 p.m.

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“The Miracle of Father Kapaun,” a book that chronicles the life of Kansas priest Emil Kapaun, has been honored with a Christopher Award.

The New York-based organization, created in 1949, announced its 65th annual awards on Wednesday. The awards – which cover film, television and books – are presented to writers, producers, directors and illustrators “whose work affirms the highest values of the human spirit,” according to a news release.

“In a culture where hope can be in short supply, we joyfully celebrate the creative artists behind these winning works,” Tony Rossi, director of communications for The Christophers, said in a statement.

The “Miracle of Father Kapaun” was written by Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying of The Wichita Eagle. It was published in 2013 following an award-winning series in 2009 in The Eagle and on Kansas.com.

Kapaun, a native of Pilsen in Marion County, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in April 2013 for his actions as a chaplain in the Korean War. In addition to his bravery on the battlefield, Kapaun aided fellow soldiers in a North Korean prisoner of war camp.

Kapaun died in the camp in May 1951 at the age of 35. The Catholic Church is investigating his life to determine whether he should be made a saint.

Also earning Christopher Awards were four movies, including “Gravity” and “Frozen”; five television shows; four books for adults; and five children’s books.

The winners will be honored at an event in New York next month.

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