DETROIT, MI (14 November 2017) – Details of the historic Beatification Mass were announced today for Father Solanus Casey, a humble Capuchin Friar who has been credited with a miraculous cure. The Beatification of Father Solanus Casey will be decreed in an Apostolic letter during a Mass that will be held at Ford Field on Saturday, November 18, 2017, 4:00 p.m., EST. Father Solanus Casey is only the second American-born male to be beatified by the Catholic Church, the final step before canonization, or sainthood.
The presider for the Mass will be his Eminence Angelo Cardinal Amato from Rome, Italy, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints and representative of the Holy Father, Pope Francis. The Rite of Beatification will take place at the beginning of the Mass. Among the congregation will be 240 Capuchin Friars and approximately 350 members of the Casey family from across America and their ancestral country of Ireland.
The altar that will be used for the beatification, designed by Latvian-born architect Gunnar Birkerts, was created originally for Pope Saint John Paul II’s visit to the Pontiac Silverdome in 1987, and will be located at mid-field. The altar and ambo (pulpit) were built of cherry wood; the design reflects the tranquil beauty of Michigan’s natural resources. An image of the altar can be found here. Following the Beatification Rite, Mass will proceed, attended by thousands of faithful with devotions to Fr. Solanus, and clergy from around the world. The liturgy will be accompanied by a choir of 300, directed by Fr. Ed Foley, OFM Cap., with members from parish choirs across Metropolitan Detroit.
“The Beatification is a wonderful moment and a testament to the work that Father Solanus Casey did for our city and those throughout the world,” stated Father Michael Sullivan, OFM Cap. and Provincial Minister of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph.
“On behalf of the Archdiocese of Detroit, I am grateful to the tens of thousands of people who will be traveling from near and far to celebrate Father Solanus Casey and this wonderful event in the life of the Church and Detroit,” said Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron. “Father Solanus Casey is an inspiration to all of us. He was a humble, compassionate and generous man who dedicated so much of himself to our community.”
The liturgy will be broadcast live on EWTN Global, the Catholic TV Network, Canada’s Salt + Light Television, and locally on the Catholic Television Network of Detroit (CTND). It will also be carried on Ave Maria Radio (WDEO). The event will be livestreamed via the websites of the Capuchins (solanuscasey.org) and Archdiocese of Detroit (aod.org) and Facebook Live broadcast on the Father Solanus Casey and Archdiocese of Detroit pages. Commentators for the event are Fr. Richard Fragomeni from the Diocese of Albany and Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, from the Congregation of St. Basil (Basilian Fathers). Closed captioning will be available on the Detroit Lions Mobile App, which can be download in the App Store for free.
The anticipated attendance is approximately 65,000. Doors open to the public at 2:00 p.m., and attendees are encouraged to come early.
Fr. Solanus was ordained in 1904 and spent 20 years as the porter, or doorkeeper, of St. Bonaventure in Detroit. There, he was revered for his wise and patient counsel, and was credited by many with intercessions that resulted in miraculous cures of body and mind. On May 4, Pope Francis announced that Father Solanus Casey will be elevated to Blessed in the Roman Catholic Church. A friar of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph in Detroit and one of the co-founders of the city’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Bernard Casey, who took the name Solanus as a seminarian, was born November 25, 1870 and died July 31, 1957. A photograph of Father Solanus Casey is available here.
The Detroit Capuchins continue their ministry to the poor and the sick and those in need. They operate the Solanus Casey Center, which attracts 250,000 visitors a year, and the Capuchin Soup Kitchen which frequently serves 2,000 meals per day, to those who are hungry.
The work of the Capuchin Friars is funded primarily by donations, receiving no government assistance. To make a donation in support of the Father Solanus Beatification Mass, please contact Kristi Hassouna at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thecapuchins.org.
About the Father Solanus Guild
The Father Solanus Guild, a Capuchin ministry, initiated the Cause of Solanus Casey for sainthood in 1966 and continues to keep alive the inspiring memory of Father Solanus; brings knowledge of his exemplary life to others; collects information about his life and work; provides prayer, support, and offers services to the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Solanus Casey.
About the Solanus Casey Center
Inspired by the holy life of Father Solanus, the Solanus Casey Center opened its doors in 2002 to lead visitors on a spiritual journey. Thousands come to the center each year for prayer, to nurture the spirit, and to visit Solanus’ tomb.
In 1998, the Capuchin superiors recognized a need for a more hospitable way to receive the multitude of visitors who come to the tomb of Father Solanus each year. The result is the beautiful and enriching Solanus Casey Center where Casey’s tomb is now located. It also facilitates the spiritual needs of visitors, drawing them into a pilgrimage of faith that inspires in all who visit an invitation to holiness in their own lives.
The Solanus Casey Center and Father Solanus Guild are ministries of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph headquartered in Detroit, which includes Capuchin ministries worldwide.
About the Capuchins
The Capuchins are an international community of friars modeling themselves after St. Francis of Assisi. the brothers of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, headquartered in Detroit, serve in a variety of ministries including social service, schools, chaplaincies, retreat house and parishes in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Arizona and Panama. Established at Mt. Calvary Wisconsin in 1857, there are currently 169 members in the St. Joseph province.
About the Archdiocese of Detroit
The Roman Catholic presence in southeast Michigan dates back to 1701 with the arrival of French missionaries. By 1833, the Diocese of Detroit was officially established; it was elevated to the status of an Archdiocese in 1937. Seventh largest in the United States, it administers parishes, schools, and institutions within the City of Detroit, as well as Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, St. Clair, and Lapeer counties. Served by Allen Henry Vigneron, its 10th bishop (and fifth archbishop), the Archdiocese – its priests and people alike – is currently engaged in promoting and energizing faith in Jesus Christ through its evangelization commitment to Unleash the Gospel.
On behalf of Capuchin Franciscan Order of St. Joseph in Detroit
Heather George, email@example.com, 313-832-2210, 248-417-5773 (mobile)
Archdiocese of Detroit
Holly Fournier, firstname.lastname@example.org, 313-237-5802, 313-570-5962 (mobile)