A family on the run

The Kapral siblings surround their mother, Dorothy, following the Fox Cities Marathon. (CNS/The Compass)

The Kapral siblings surround their mother, Dorothy, following the Fox Cities Marathon. (CNS/The Compass)

Talk about a family on the run.

All 16 siblings of the Kapral family of Oshkosh, Wis. ran in the Community First Fox Cities Marathon in nearby Appleton Sept. 20. Not only did they run in the popular annual event, but each one of them completed the 26.2 mile trek in less than six hours.

It’s the largest group of brothers and sisters to ever accomplish such a feat within eight hours, earning the Kaprals — all graduates of Lourdes High School in Oshkosh — a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Compass, newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., recently profiled the family’s accomplishment.

Interestingly, The Compass reported, the Kaprals were not the first Oshkosh family to be recognized by the Guinness book for accomplishing the same feat. Thirteen siblings of the Weisse family, also graduates of Lourdes, held the record for a month in 2007 until an Irish family running in the Dublin Marathon in Ireland surpassed them.

What’s in the water up there?

Oprah discovers a book CNS readers knew about in 2008

Oprah’s latest book club selection, “Say You’re One of  Them” by Jesuit Father Uwem Akpan, should sound familar to CNS readers.  BOOK-AFRICAWhen Elizabeth Rackover reviewed it for us last year, she found some of the Nigerian priest’s short stories difficult to read and said she was reminded of something the Rev. William Sloane Coffin had once written:

“When they see the innocent suffering, every time they lift their eyes to heaven and say, ‘God, how could you let this happen?’ it’s well to remember that exactly at that moment God is asking exactly the same question of us: ‘How could you let this happen?'”

Confessions of a former FBI intern

As a young man James Carroll, the Boston Globe columnist, author and former priest, stepped into his father’s shoes while studying at Georgetown University in Washington. For one summer, he was an FBI intern; his dad served in the FBI until 1948, at which point he was commissioned as an intelligence officer by the Air Force. One day the FBI interns were invited to a meet-and-greet with the U.S. attorney general.

At the meet-and-greet Carroll took his place in the receiving line until he got to shake hands with the attorney general, who asked  him his name, where he was studying and what he planned to do in the future. Carroll told the attorney general that once his internship was over, he was going to a seminary to study for the priesthood.

The attorney general replied, “Get out in the streets with the Protestants, and fight for civil rights. We don’t have enough Catholics out there. The Protestants are taking the lead on this.”

The year was 1962. The attorney general was Robert Kennedy.

Hearing Kennedy speak about civil rights — and not anti-communism or any of a host of other issues — as the leading cause for the United States at that time “validated my calling,” Carroll recalled during a Sept. 30 symposium on Catholics and the media. “It showed me what I needed to do.”

Carroll served as a civil rights and a community organizer in Washington and New York. He left the priesthood in 1974, five years after his ordination, to become a writer.