UP Catholic 05 26 2017 E Edition Page 6

6 May 26, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS www.upcatholic.org BY MIKE STECHSCHULTE THE MICHIGAN CATHOLIC DETROIT Sixty years after his death, Venerable Father Solanus Casey is on his way to sainthood. Pope Francis announced May 4 that Detroits be- loved Capuchin friar has met the requirements for be- atification and will be named blessed - the second U.S.-born man to achieve such a designation and the irst person from Michigan. Although Father Casey was born in Oak Grove, Wis., in 1870, he spent most of his adult life and ministry in Detroit, caring for the sick, poor and downtrodden and lending a listening ear and caring heart to the thousands who came to him for counsel, wisdom and aid. Among the hundreds if not thousands of heal- ings attributed to Father Casey during and after his lifetime, Pope Francis recognized the authenticity of a miracle necessary for the friar to be elevated from venerable to blessed after a thorough review by the Vaticans Congregation for the Causes of Saints, including panels of doctors and theologians, was com- pleted earlier this year. The beatification of Father Solanus Casey is an incomparable grace for the Church in the Archdiocese of Detroit and for the whole community of Southeast Michigan, Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said in a statement. He is an inspiration to all us Catholics and to all of the power of grace to transform ones life. According to Father David Preuss, OFM Cap., direc- tor of the Solanus Casey Center, the miracle needed to raise Father Casey to blessed involved a woman with an incurable genetic skin disease. The woman was visiting friends in Detroit and stopped at Father Caseys tomb to pray for others intentions. After her prayers, she felt the strong urging to ask for the friars intercession for herself, too, and received an instant and visible healing. The miraculous nature of her cure was verified by doctors in her home country, in Detroit and in Rome, all of whom confirmed there was no scientific expla- nation. She knew the Capuchins and decided to come to Detroit - to the tomb, Father Preuss told The Michi- gan Catholic. She came here because she had a whole list of people she wanted to pray for. So she prayed for them, and a voice in her head said, Pray for yourself. And she was instantly cured. There were five doctors to whom she explained her condition, and her former physician, and they all said they had no explanation why this should have gone away, Father Preuss said. In a blessed coincidence or perhaps not Father Casey himself suffered from a skin disease, which ultimately caused his death in 1957. I'm sure Father Solanus said, 'I know what this is like,' and decided to show mercy upon her, Father Preuss mused. RACE TOWARD SAINTHOOD Father Casey's beatification - which will take place during a yet-to-be-announced Mass in Detroit later this year - is the final step before sainthood, which would require a second miracle attributed to Father Caseys intercession after he is made blessed. Capuchin Father Michael Sullivan, provincial minis- ter of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, said the friars are elated at the news, as is the rest of the city. Long before we knew and loved Pope Francis, we had the example of Father Solanus who lived the Gospel of Mercy, Father Sullivan said. Known for his compassion and simplicity, he drew many thou- sands to God. Rather than call attention to himself, he taught people to thank God for His blessings. We are overjoyed at the news that Father Solanus holiness is recognized by the Holy Father. Not only did Father Casey teach others to thank God, but he often urged them to thank Him ahead of time even for the blessings they were yet to receive - an admonition adopted often by Archbishop Vigneron and others invoking the soon-to-be-blessed friars memory. I consider the gift that Father is to us here a sign of how much God cares about us, and that His care for us is unconditional, Archbishop Vigneron said, adding he has a personal devotion to the friar, especially if I'm feeling as if I don't know how to solve a problem. I think about how many people have come to Father Solanus and received the advice of, Trust God, it will all work out. Father Solanus helps me to be a better disciple, to have more trust in Jesus, the arch- bishop said. A SIMPLE MAN FOR A SIMPLE CITY Archbishop Vigneron added the significance of Detroit getting its first blessed should not be overlooked. There are a lot of places in the world that have a lot of glory and a lot of glitz. We don't, the archbishop said. We've been through some really dicult times, and sometimes I think we lose our confidence in ourselves or in God's care for us. That God has confirmed Father's holiness by this mir- acle, I take it as a confirmation of His eternal love for us. If I think of all the things we have to deal with, it's just so important that God is on our side. Born Bernard Francis Casey on Nov. 25, 1870, Fa- ther Casey was the sixth of 16 children to Irish im- migrants Bernard James Casey and Ellen Elizabeth Murphy. He enrolled at St. Francis High School Seminary near Milwaukee in 1891, but because of academic limitations he was advised to consider PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DETROIT CATHOLIC Father Solanus Casey is photographed in a rose garden in 1956. Father Solanus Casey of Detroit to be beatified PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DETROIT CATHOLIC Father Solanus Casey (center) is seen in this 1941 photo ladling soup in the Capuchin Soup Kitchen he established in 1929 to feed the hungry during the depression. SEE BEATIFIED, PAGE 7

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