November 13, 2017

Father Solanus Casey's Beatification Mass

Solanus Casey

Venerable Solanus Casey, an American-born Capuchin priest, known for his great faith, dedication to the sick, spiritual counseling and miraculous intercession, is the second American-born male to be beatified. He was very highly sought-after throughout his life, in part due to the many physical healings attributed to him.

The beatification Mass will take place November 18th at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Capuchin provincial minister Fr. Michael Sullivan said the community is, "filled with joy," adding the Mass will be a, "beautiful way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of his passing." Archbishop Allen Vigneron said, "The beatification of Fr. Solanus will be a tremendous blessing for the whole community of southeast Michigan, an opportunity for all of us to experience the love of Jesus Christ."

Bernard Casey was born on November 25, 1870, the sixth child of sixteen to Irish immigrants in Wisconsin. He left home to work at various jobs at the age of 17. After witnessing a drunken sailor brutally stab a woman to death, he re-evaluated his life and answered God’s call to the priesthood. This initially proved difficult.

He struggled in the minor seminary, by virtue of his lack of a formal education, and was encouraged to enter a religious order instead. In 1898, Casey joined the Capuchin Franciscans in Detroit. Despite struggling academically, in 1904 he was ordained a "sacerdos simplex" (a priest who may celebrate Mass but not publicly preach or absolve sin.) He would serve in several Churches around New York City.

In 1924, he was transferred to Saint Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit where he worked for 21 years. There he served primarily as a receptionist or doorkeeper. Every Wednesday, he conducted prayer services for the sick. Father Casey was renowned for the amazing results of his consultations with visitors. In 1946, with failing health, he was sent to Huntington, Indiana where he lived until 1956. The next year, while hospitalized in Detroit, he died aged 86. His last words were, "I give my soul to Jesus Christ." In 1987 his incorrupt body was exhumed and now rests in the Fr. Solanus Casey Center at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit.

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