The Rev. Christiaan Kappes, who served as St. Louis Catholic Church associate pastor from 2002-05, was reported as missing in Greece, but it appears he is now safe and scheduled to return to Indianapolis.
"The Archdiocese of Indianapolis was elated to learn from Father Christiaan Kappes' family that Father Kappes is alive and safe,” commented Archdiocesan communications director Greg Otolski, Indianapolis. “We are hopeful that he soon will be returning to the United States.
“We thank everyone for their prayers and support for Father Kappes and ask that people continue to pray for his safe return to Indiana. We also would like to thank the Vatican and all the authorities who have been searching for Father Kappes,” he added.
Based on recent posts on Facebook by family members, a coordinated effort by many people and agencies led to a happy ending ... at least that is the direction it seems to be headed.
Kappes had not been heard from since Monday, Oct. 1 when he contacted his father. Efforts to locate him intensified from that point.
The embassy in Athens was in contact with his family and also worked very closely with Greek authorities to try to locate him, according to U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Archdiocesan officials issued a statement Oct. 4 about the growing mystery. It explained that Kappes, a priest for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, “has been in Athens the past three years at the request of the Vatican working on a doctorate degree.”
Otolski described Kappes, who grew up on Indy’s south side in Beech Grove, as “a faithful priest who's a smart guy. He’s a person who’s very intelligent with a lot of different interests, somebody who's a good athlete.” As a high school wrestler, he went to the state finals.