A man known for immersing himself in some of the world's poorest areas, Sister Kappes said her nephew is well-traveled and has escaped trouble before.
A member of the national exhibition wrestling team in the 1980s, he spent a week without food in Eastern Europe after the fall of communism, she said. He previously spent a year working with the poor in Mexico.
“I never give up hope to the last minute, and even to the last minute my family is a little crazy — we believe in life after death, and we believe we will see each other again,” Sister Kappes said.
Her nephew visited Oklahoma City for wrestling clinics nearly every year when he was young, and was well known to some of the monks at St. Gregory's despite not having visited for the past decade or so.
On Thursday, the university in Shawnee held a special mass to support him.
“I think the interesting thing about Chris is, no matter where he is he works with the poor,” she said. “He's the kind of guy that is multifaceted; he's equally at home with a group of dignitaries as he is working with orphaned gypsy boys. You know, you hate to lose kids like him for the world.”
Contributing: The Associated Press